Monthly Archives: July 2013
July 23, 2013
“What does your tattoo mean?” That’s the question I’ve been asked the most in passing during my first month at MWW. I consider myself to be on the quieter side (at least while at the office). So while you would never know it at first glance, the truth is that before PR or my amazing boyfriend, my first love was music. My tattoo (an anchor wrapped by a treble clef shaped rope) was inspired by my favorite artist Joni Mitchell. It reminds me daily to stay passionate and to never forget my foundation.
I don’t exactly consider myself a “publicist by day, rock star by night” but I have been singing for 20 years – more than half of my life. I’m trained classically, but I’d much rather rock out than sing Mozart. Before I launched into my PR career, I was fortunate enough to make a living off of gigs including weddings, funerals, graduations, etc. My favorite performing opportunity so far has been playing “Glinda”, the tutu-wearing, beat-boxing good witch in “OZ: A Twisted Musical” off-Broadway.
These days, I’m more likely to be found belting out my favorite songs like “At Last” by Etta James at an open mic night in Hoboken. Even though music has taken a backseat to my career, it will always be a part of me.
So if you’re in the MWW Kitchen and you hear someone burst out into song, it just might be me. I can see it now “Matter More: The Musical.”
July 16, 2013
It started off with a twelve hour plane ride. I was being squished into a window seat with kids kicking the back of my chair, babies crying and water bottles spilling all over me, but it was all worth the wait. When the moment finally came that I could get off the plane, it all became real. I was finally in the Promised Land that I had heard so much about growing up. I was in Israel.
My experience in Israel was incredible. I went with a Birthright group called Taglit and did more things in ten days than I ever thought I could. From getting sunburned in the desert, to floating in the Dead Sea, to riding camels, I was amazed at everything the country had to offer. My favorite adventure of the trip was waking up at four in the morning to climb up Masada, which was a big mountain in order to watch the sun rise. Although I was extremely tired from waking up early and hiking up the mountain, I could still appreciate the beauty of the entire country in that sunrise.
Not only did I feel like I was able to connect with the country, but I was also able to make friends that I wouldn’t have ever met otherwise. I met so many people from my own school (The University of Maryland – Go Terps!), that I didn’t know before the trip, as well as eight Israeli soldiers that joined our trip half-way through. I thought that the dynamic of having Israeli soldiers with us on our expedition would be a little awkward because of our different cultural backgrounds, but I was so wrong. The soldiers were so similar to us and we all got along really well. In fact, most of us still keep in touch and our whole group is pushing them to visit Maryland.
Overall, my journey to Israel was amazing. It opened my eyes to a completely different world and I gained an even bigger appreciation for my culture, my religion and my family.
July 9, 2013
Almost every junior is confronted with the same dilemma – to go abroad, or not to go abroad. While I love the University of Michigan with all my heart, I felt it was time to venture outside of the small, all too familiar confines of Ann Arbor. Regardless of whether or not my opinion might be slightly biased, this past semester I studied abroad in the best city in Europe – Paris. This unbelievable metropolis offers a unique study abroad experience as students can fully immerse themselves in French culture. I for one took advantage of this opportunity and channeled my inner-Frenchwoman by literally eating my way through Paris. While this may have seemed like a great idea at the time, I can definitely say in hindsight I could’ve taken it down a notch…or twenty. But nonetheless, part of my terrific experience abroad was the food and I certainly wouldn’t take it back for anything. However, upon my arrival home, I needed to find a way to acclimate back to American society and return to my normal routine.
That is when I discovered Bikram Yoga, also known as “hot yoga”. My twin sister, recently turned hot yoga addict, suggested we go together. She boasted about the benefits claiming it “encourages healthy living”, blah blah blah. Sure, why not? I have nothing to lose—except maybe the extra pounds acquired from too many baguettes and cheese. I’m not going to lie, but my first class at Bikram Yoga was undoubtedly the most draining, miserable 90 minutes of my entire life. Even though I wanted to run out of the room screaming, which is highly frowned upon in the Bikram world, I stayed. I’m supposed to sit in this 105 degree death trap and bask in my own sweat? How is this even legal?
Nonetheless, I returned the next day; and then the day after that. Before I knew it, I was attending my 12th Bikram class in three weeks. Although it was difficult to appreciate at first, I now clearly see the overwhelmingly positive effects of Bikram yoga— especially for me. This practice really does encourage healthy living as you need to stay hydrated, eat healthy and receive a proper amount of rest every night. Most importantly, Bikram yoga requires commitment, discipline and ambition. For me, practicing these key values every day is highly beneficial as it provides a healthy foundation for living my life on a much larger scale than just exercise. As the summer progresses, I hope to continue down this path of “healthy living”, growing and improving in and outside of the workplace. Hopefully I can drag a few hopefuls down to the studio and convert them into yogis too! MWW staff, look out!
July 3, 2013
When I was a child, there wasn’t a dare devil adventure I wouldn’t take on—don’t believe me? Ask ANY one of my six siblings whom I always tried to stand out against. As I got older, I grew a fear to taking part in adventurous activities, whether it was learning to land a tumble pass for an upcoming cheerleading competition or flying on an airplane for only two hours to Disney World!
It wasn’t until I left the United States for the first time, where I gained my fearless ambition back! While boarding the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, scared of getting seasick or even worse—the ship sinking, I came across an excursion pamphlet for our Haiti stop. Pictured on the pamphlet were beautiful trees, a crystal blue ocean and a woman zip-lining ABOVE the scenery. I said to myself “I will NEVER have this opportunity again”! As soon as we checked into our room, I headed over to guest services to sign up for zip-lining, also known as “Dragon’s Breath Flight Line”—I knew once I paid for it (with my hard earned money from working as a camp counselor) I was not backing down.
When we arrived in Haiti, I was a tad-bit more nervous than I expected. While trying to be a big shot in front of my boyfriend and his brothers, I acted as calm as possible during the one hour “standard” zip-line training session. As the workers took us in these safari vehicles and then again as I climbed the steep stairs to the “take-off point,” I felt chills down my spine. I finally reached the take-off platform when it really hit me, “the only way I am getting down from here is to zip-line 500 feet in the air, at a speed of 40-50 MPH, for a length of 2,600 feet across! With crossed fingers and a knot in my stomach, I sat on the edge of the platform, with this “not-so-safe” looking harness and pushed off—okay, okay, the workers had to push me—but, I soared across the tops of the trees and beaches of Haiti screaming like the adventurous kid I always was at heart. Pushing myself to zip line in Haiti made me realize I would miss out on so much in life if I am too afraid. Thanks to this exciting experience, I plan to have many more adventures like it!