Tag Archives: Guest Post

{Follow Up} With John C.

For the last two years, my friend John has been teaching over in Detroit through a program called Teach For America. I have known him since my first year of college. I have worked alongside him and looked up to him as a role model. His job in Detroit, no doubt, has been challenging and difficult at times, but I am confident that this experience has enabled John to grow, learn, and take on anything that comes his way after this. When we first heard from John on Yow Yow! he was maybe half a year into his program. Please read his guest post here

How do you tell a student: “I know some of how you feel about failure: I feel like a failure everyday”?

I am no stranger to anxiety. My mom says it runs in the family. But there is a special kind of anxiety that comes with teaching. That anxiety usually rears its ugly head once a week, in the late morning or early afternoon of Sundays from September to June, telling you the kids are coming back. A former teacher of mine once stated it like this: “no matter how hard you work today, you will not do enough for your kids, and feel like you are letting them down”.

Some days I work a lot as a teacher, and some days I do not do enough. But there is one common trend: I always feel like I have not done enough.

For those of you thinking about teaching, be inspired by this sentiment: teaching is so freaking rewarding. There are such beautiful tangible and intangible results that I am so grateful for. But for me, teaching was a glaring reminder of all the ways I don’t feel like I stack up.

When coworkers find out that I am not teaching next year, they question: Is it the kids? Is it the administration? Is it because you feel this work is impossible? I make up a different answer every time, but the truth is that it is none of those things.

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{Follow Up} With Maddie Cary

Throughout college and surviving the business school, Maddie was kind of like my little rock. The girl never ceases to amaze me and she’s one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. Here at Yow Yow! we’ve always supported her in her musical endeavors and will continue to do so of course. Her follow-up piece is something that I know will resonate with many of you and definitely falls in line with the post-grad 20-something talk we’ve been going off of lately. To give yourself a refresher, see her original guest post here.

The Sweet Spot

Hello Yow Yow! readers! The last time I took some time to sit down, and you know, casually reflect on my ever -looming future, I wrote about questioning my path to pursue a career in business (whatever that really means) and to instead jump head-first into a life as a singer/musician. Well, it’s been over a year since I wrote down all of those thoughts, and I KNOW you all have been on pins and needles wondering how I feel now (does sarcasm come across in blogs? I’m still so new to this…).

Since graduating from Seattle University in June 2012, I’ve been working at a search-engine marketing agency in Queen Anne. Before you ask, no, I don’t work for Google. I’ve been working at this company since the summer before my senior year, and over my two years there, I’ve gone from a part-time intern all the way to a recent promotion to Client Manager. I’m proud of these milestones, but I’m sure you’re starting to realize it isn’t quite that career in music I was always daydreaming about.

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{Follow Up} With Veronica Lim

Readers, I am so excited to be sharing the news with you that we will be catching up with all of our former guest post contributors! I first announced this back in January, but now it’s finally happening! This installment on Yow Yow! was well-received by all of you, our friends, family, and community. It’s been over a year since we’ve last heard from our contributors so I thought it would be great if we could check in with them and see what’s going on in their lives, how their views have changed, and how they have essentially grown up. First up is my dearest friend Veronica Lim. For a refresher, check out her first post here and her follow-up below. 

Katie sent me a follow-up guest post email nearly two months ago. Now I can’t say I’ve been too busy to respond or that I couldn’t muster up the right words to answer the questions she laid out. Rather, it passed me by as much as I let it. I mean that in the sense that I didn’t want to sit down and reflect on how I’ve changed or may not have changed. I wanted to pretend as if I didn’t need to because if I post-poned it then maybe it hasn’t quite happened. But the reality of the situation is that I wrote a guest post for Katie over a year ago and much has changed with the world since then. And I’ve changed whether or not I meant to.

These days I don’t press snooze 12 times before waking up. I became a little bit of an adult by waking up every morning and getting ready for work. With coffee in hand, I catch the bus, find my way to Lower Queen Anne, and spend 8 hours thinking about work lyfe before commuting back home. Perhaps this sounds monotonous and dreadful. The kicker is – I absolutely love the experience life outside of Seattle University provides. These days life is wrapped up in a place called Marx Foods, my apartment, family, and the friends that I’ve been fortunate to keep post college.

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Revisiting Guest Posts

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Top row: Veronica Lim, John Conway, Maddie Cary
Meghan Addison, Megan Newell, Kristina Nicci
Andrea Augustinas, Ashley De Leon, Ben Neal
Nick Shea,
Lucas Ruiz, RaeLani Valaile

Having the guest post feature on Yow Yow was one of my favorite things from 2012. Being able to create projects for this blog and come up with new ideas is something that drives me to keep this blog going. When I came up with the opportunity to invite people from my life to write a post, I knew that Yow Yow would be in good hands because these 12 people are some of the most passionate, selfless, and intelligent people I know.

Today we are revisiting guest posts because first of all, I wanted for there to be a post where I could access all of them and secondly because enough time has passed that I thought you would all be interested in learning what they are all doing now. Some of them have been out of school for over a year, have traveled and had these incredible adventures, and some have started their careers. It will be interesting to see how their lives have changed since writing the post and how their views have differed.

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School: 10 Favorite Posts

Earlier this afternoon, I received my school’s quarterly magazine and instantly missed everything about being back in school. This past week, I have been feeling all sorts of nostalgia. I wanted to be a freshman again. I wanted to see my friends. This time last year before class started, I was doing happy hours every day (not just for the drinks y’all! Happy hour food is my guilty pleasure.) It also didn’t help that some of my favorite professors that I’ve ever had were featured in this magazine’s issue too. So all of these mixed emotions led me to looking back on my college days and selecting my 10 favorite “school-themed” posts to highlight.

It’s time for a blast from the past! And when I say past, I mean three months ago.

  1. What I’ll Miss About “Greek” (Because I lived vicariously through these characters who had a Greek system)
  2. From One Post Grad to Many Undergrads
  3. Work With Me, Mentee
  4. {Guest Post} By Ashley de Leon
  5. Pickwick Surprises
  6. Prom Season Is Coming Up
  7. Dorm Life
  8. Meet: Brendan Leonard
  9. Smart
  10. Connie is a Graduate [from my idol Connie Wang]
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{Guest Post} By RaeLani Valaile

Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cause post-grad life is gonna be alright.

If I could write an entire post dedicated to Katie, I would. She is an amazing woman and I am so thankful to know her. But enough of the mushy stuff…

Here’s the reality about post-grad life: some parts of it really do suck. You’ll learn to balance a budget smaller than your freshman year C-Street meal plan; you’ll search for jobs and determine that while cover letters do absolutely nothing other than make you sound like a pretentious jerk they help get you an interview, you’ll realize that loans and interest rates are the eternal enemy, and you’ll ultimately lose friends that you honestly thought would always stay together. Aside from those things you’ll also be faced with the daunting question of what and who gives your life most meaning and purpose.

But you already expected that, right?

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{Guest Post} By Lucas Ruiz

The Great Caravan: Sasquatch! 2012

I once heard it described perfectly by a man dressed in neon swim trunks and a Native American headdress – “it’s the one weekend of the year where I just don’t care.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, shirtless man in feathers. He was talking about Sasquatch! Music Festival, the event which takes place every Memorial Day Weekend in what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on the planet – the Gorge in George, Washington. People from all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond pack their Subaru Foresters with good friends and camping supplies. As 5-time festival-goer, it’s where I truly feel I can be myself – dance like no one’s watching (even though a lot are), belt out indie jams like I have the best voice in the world (even though I very much don’t), and make some lasting memories with people I love dearly.

The Gorge Amphitheatre aka Heaven on Earthphoto credit: Leanna Robb

The following is a play-by-play of Sasquatch 2012 from the eyes and ears of Lucas Ruiz. Here, ladies and gentlemen, are some moments I found particularly noteworthy:

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{Guest Post} By Nick Shea

5 Reasons Why Belle is the Best Disney Princess

Beauty and the Beast is a masterpiece, and Belle is my favorite Disney Princess. Allow me to explain why I’d let her tame my beast any day of the week.

1. She’s not a princess.

Belle lives with her father on the outskirts of a poor, quiet, provincial town in France. The house is quirky and jumbled. We wonder if Maurice (Belle’s inventor father) built it himself, considering the various contraptions and inventions that proliferate on the property. They live aloof, away from the rest of the townspeople, and Belle is without a mother figure. It’s unclear what happened to Belle’s mother; her lack of presence is entirely unaddressed in the film. No matter how beautiful Belle is, the film makes it clear that she is merely a peasant girl with her head in the clouds.

Hot damn!

The only other Disney Princesses that weren’t born from wealthy families are Mulan and Tiana. However, Tiana’s film is called The Princess and the Frog, so that…uh…complicates things a bit. I think we should just stick with Mulan and Belle as the only two young women not actually born from aristocratic families or deemed princesses. But Mulan comes from some semblance of prestige; her father is a respected military hero. Belle doesn’t even have that!

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{Guest Post} By Ben Neal

As Free As My Hair: My college experience and personal formation as told through my hair.

Hello!  My name is Ben and I have known the beautiful Katie since freshman year.  So when I received a message from her asking if I wanted to write a blog my instant reaction was HELL YEAH.  Since I am senior this year at SU with Katie and I have an abnormal love for reminiscing, I kept coming back to the idea of reflecting on my college experience and the many transitions I have gone through.  Now you may be thinking that relating this to my hair is super dumb or really vain but I think hair can liberating and has allowed me to externalize emotions or internal feelings about my life at the point.  Through this post, I hope you get to know something about who I am and how, at some level, I have let my hair reflect where I am at in my life.

The starting point:  High school

When I got to high school, I had grown my hair out and it is what we now call “the swoop.”  I had the original Justin Beiber haircut and will probably have neck problems later in my life for flipping my hair so much.  People knew me by my hair and people liked it.  Above all though, I liked it.  But I think at the core of who I was at that point was trying to “fit in”. Even though I had so much fun in high school, I definitely was trying to just fit in.  Not make any waves.  Just get by.  The swoop was safe (and warm since I have really thick hair).  I had the swoop for most of high school and any haircut I got was either a variation of the swoop or ended up returning to what the swoop originally was.

Picture 1.  The “swoop.”  And yes.  I am wearing a Panic! At the Disco shirt.

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{Guest Post} By Ashley de Leon

A Letter to my Soon-To-Be College Graduate Self:

Congratulations, you are almost done! I know it’s a couple months away, but you do have every reason to celebrate. You will be able to do senior streak and you will have the time of your life. You’ll have so much fun that you will spend half of the day passed out, you may or may not puke in the library and you’ll spend the next couple of days trying to figure out how to get the blue paint out of the bathtub, the bed sheets, and the shoes. You will also realize that Crayola is not all that washable. But here’s the kicker- you’ll actually make it to your final, and your professor will be kind enough to pass you.

I know the future may seem like a blurred-dark-abandoned-hell-of-a-rabbit hole and every time someone asks you, “What are your plans after you graduate?” you want to cry, scream and even punch the person in the nose. But here’s one thing I want you to know – come graduation day you will forget all about the stress and live in the moment. You’ll spend the day smiling until your face hurts; you’ll stand on your chair and fist pump; you’ll see a big giant poster of your face- of course it’s the one picture of yourself that you absolutely hate – and your crazy family will be behind it waving and laughing; except grandma, she’s tired.

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{Guest Post} By Andrea Augustinas

Embrace Your Inner Nerd

If you know me you know I’m not someone who pretends to have a lot of advice or wisdom to dispense, but in my travels I’ve cultivated one nugget of pseudo-wisdom:  one surefire way to help yourself “make it” in the “real world” is something I like to call embracing your inner nerd.  And no, I don’t mean buying yourself a pair of coke bottle glasses or quoting obscure books at your friends (trust me, it’s not charming).   I’m talking about immersing yourself in something(s) you love that most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about, making yourself knowledgeable, and letting your enjoyment of those things impact your life.

Nerds care about what matters and value people for who they are.  It’s a major misconception that you have to be intelligent to be a nerd.  Not so.  I would probably fail an 8th grade science test, yet I’m as sincere a nerd as they come.  Because that’s what counts with nerds—sincerity.  It doesn’t matter if we’re interested in the same things; if I can see you’re genuine in what you care about and it’s close to your heart, I respect that.  I have a friend who’s obsessed with all things Disney, another who unabashedly loves Sailor Moon, and even a friend who loses her mind over shows like Pretty Little Liars (hint: she runs this blog), and even though those things aren’t my particular cup of tea, those people are important to me because I value people who really, truly care about things.  If any of these people, hearing me mock something they love (and despite my nerd-solidarity I tend to do this), said “No, you’re right, it’s dumb,” I would instantly lose some respect for them.  I find that generally, people who can’t be sincere about something as simple as their interests will rarely be sincere in their relationships.

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{Guest Post} By Kristina Nicchi

I’ve always been known for my larger-than-life laugh. It’s to the point that it’s even been officially titled. Twice, actually. While most people find “The Kristina Cackle” ridiculous and (if visibly with me) slightly embarrassing, I find it to be rather telling of my life… Or maybe, more correctly, my outlook on life.

When people ask how my experience in Guatemala has been, there are two predominant conversation paths I can travel down. I could begin by listing off the absurd amount of health cases that I’ve been dealt (thigh-encompassing allergic reactions to ant bites, sun-blistered lips, parasites, bed bugs, lice, and yes, even fleas). But where’s the fun in that? I laugh most of those off anyway. Rather, I choose to begin by listing off the reasons I love this place. Why, you ask? The latter is a much longer list AND puts a bigger smile on my face.

Take munchkin Tony for instance. He is a five-year-old who doesn’t have a terribly large vocabulary due to a developmental delay. Regardless, not only has he won over my heart, he’s won over the heart of all my family that has come to visit. Tony has the two most adorably crooked front teeth I have EVER seen. He can’t help but flash them as he runs up to me shouting his version of my name: “Tee-naa! Tee-naa!” Because of his endless energy, I’m never bored when with him. We do anything from make paper airplanes, to rummage through the sandbox for hidden trucks, to play the “Tony Scares Kristina” game, to receive endless kisses from him while together. Tony is the FIRST kid I would stow in my luggage.

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Congratulations John!

I am so so proud of my friend John! Not even a week ago, John reached out to his friends and family to ask for donations for an extracurricular baseball program that he wanted to bring to his students and today he has finally reached his goal. With the help of his friends, he was able to raise $1,085 for students and now they will have all the equipment they will need to play baseball.

I am very lucky to have someone like John in my life. His dedication to his students and kind heart are just two of the many qualities that I am impressed by. Readers, I am very glad that I have had the opportunity to introduce him all to you.

Congratulations John! I hope you know how much everyone here in the community cares for you and how often we are thinking of you!

To continue following John’s adventures in Detroit, check out his blog here.

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{Guest Post} By Megan Newell

Hello Yow-Yow enthusiasts!

I hail all the way from Baltimore, MD where I am currently a full-time volunteer through Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I am a caseworker at a homeless day shelter where I meet daily with an average of 10 clients. The services I aid with through casework include financial assistance in obtaining identification, shelter referrals, mental health and substance abuse referrals, handing out needed clothing, and helping clients find housing along with many other things that situations call forth. I’ve done something as simple as stick a band-aid on a cut of a man’s forehead to as complicated as finding assistance for a woman and her two children who were living in an “abondominuim”.

This work is tough and emotionally demanding, especially since there is a huge need from the homeless population and Baltimore City doesn’t offer enough resources. It’s especially tough as stories of homelessness are personalized for me; I see it in the faces, emotions, mannerisms, personalities, and hearts of each one of my clients.

I’ve come to dislike the term “homeless.” It lacks human dignity for a population that most needs it. With that term comes impressions of what that person is like- alcoholic, drug-ridden, mentally ill, dirty, lazy or even simply just out of luck. Yes, there are clients I see who are “chronically homeless” and may encompass one or more of these features, but the majority of my clients have potential for obtaining housing and simply need a leg up. They need someone who will advocate for them, assist with their needs when they don’t have the finances or spirit, or simply listen to them. Instead of “homeless”, and although it might not be the best solution for defining this population, I’ve thought of “without a house/apartment/a place to stay.” For me, this phrase indicates more of a transitional period in a person’s life when times are tough. It signifies that there is hope for that individual in moving forward in reclaiming stable housing, even if it might take a while. Moreover, “without a house/apartment/a place to stay” also signifies a lack of owning something tangible that society sees as almost necessary to being a “quality” citizen; something also defined by having a valid ID, a clean record, and able-bodied enough to work, all of which many of my clients do not possess.

I want to share this picture with you:

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Supporting My Friend John

Hello readers! Another reason why I am so glad to have guests posts on Yow Yow! from my dearest friends is so that I can keep all of you informed when they are doing awesome things in their lives! My dear friend John is currently in the Teach For America program teaching   physics to 11th graders and has decided to create a baseball team for his students as part of their extracurricular program. The school that he teaches at in Detroit is lacking sufficient funds to make this possible so he is asking for help from all of his friends and family. Donations will go towards all of the basic equipment needed for his kids to be able to play baseball. Check out his donation page here.

Good luck John! We’re so proud of you!

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