Tag Archives: average

Free College Stuff You’d NEVER Buy Today

18 Dec

Leaving the old stomping grounds behind for a shot at the real world meant letting go of all the beautiful things our college years provided: friends, education, memories…and tons of free stuff.

These things, these precious gifts from departments desperately seeking attention, we took for granted. Career fairs, awareness events, involvement fairs and the like made available useless novelties that we now yearn for. Now that our checking accounts are down and our penny-pinching skills have been put to the test, we would never be caught dead spending money on these 7 things.

Streetside Cupcakes

The signature fundraiser – a bake sale! When I was rushing off to class I’d pass a beat up old folding table topped with colorful homemade cupcakes and other goodies. Delta Nu is raising funds so they don’t have to switch from Charmin to generic! Donate and receive a cupcake. Today, however, while rushing into the building after sitting in 8:00 a.m. traffic, I’d never stop for a free cupcake from some rando sitting on the side of the street. For all I know, they could be the town’s serial cat-skinner. No thank you. I’ll stick to my trusted friend Little Debbie.

Printing Services

It was awesome having a certain amount of tuition allotted for printing services. Sure I was paying for it, technically (and still will be for upwards of ten years) but I used every damn cent. 20-page paper? No problem. Design an advertisement and print in color? Cake. Student org. needs flyers? I got you, dog. Walking into a Kinkos is completely out of the question now. Not only is it totally barbaric to have to drive somewhere to print something, but if I need something I can print it at work. It’s called being resourceful. Joking, guys! Relax..

Yoga/Pilates Classes

Wasn’t it cute how the recreation centers always tried to get students to come “relax” during finals at their free yoga sesh? And if I bought the semester pass it was what, maybe $30 for four months? Well done, rec center, the only cost appropriate expense around here. Needless to say, I haven’t done yoga since graduating. Yoga classes are insanely expensive to just be standing around in loungewear breathing slowly. I do that every morning for free.

T-shirts

College was a years-long free t-shirt bonanza. I could make a quilt for Paul Bunyan’s bed with all the t-shirts I got from school. I even struggled to find storage space for all of these bad boys. The thought of spending $10+ on a t-shirt today provides utter disgust. Not to mention, I still have nowhere to put a new t-shirt  in my cramped downtown apartment with a sorry excuse for a closet. Instead, I’ll hang on to every last bit of those memory-filled pieces of cheap cotton and wear them proudly, pit stains and all. 

Movie Screenings

In an effort to gain a followership and member base, student orgs all over campus would find ways to host free movie screenings complete with cheese pizza (cheapskates) and soda. I almost never went, but now I realize that I’d have to sell my grandmother’s watch to be able to afford a Carmike Cinemas feature presentation. Now I’ll NEVER see Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas. Netflix it is.

Women’s Basketball Tickets

Occasionally, probably only once, I reluctantly got up off my ass to go to a women’s basketball game…to get a free t-shirt. Sometimes the arena gave students free pizza. Why is it always pizza? Sometimes, on Greek Night, it was THE place to be because heaven forbid you miss a social opportunity to “network” with the other Greeks. After the season ended, though, and especially upon walking across that stage, women’s basketball has been nothing but a mere portion of a grain of sand in my cerebral cortex. The WNBA isn’t a real thing, right? It’s probably a no-tickets-necessary kind of thing because otherwise, I’d rather listen to Nickelback Radio.

SWAG

Little did I know when I first left for school I wouldn’t need those two bags of Bic pens and that 40-pack of Ticonderogas (obviously the best pencils ever). SWAG – Stuff We All Get – was everywhere: cups, pens, buttons, ID holders, pencils, magnets – I was a ninja in the fruit aisle. Although the endless amount of shit never seems to go away like that “Dorsey Hall 2009” keychain that always turns up somewhere, I’ll never walk into Office Depot with a significant need for desktop necessities.

The bright side is you get free stuff at work too! It isn’t all so bad. Who wouldn’t want contributions from their employer to a 401(k), annual holiday parties with dry sugar cookies, and unlimited amounts of room temperature fountain water?

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A Toast to the Best Boss Ever

12 Dec

Nearly two years since I was his employee, I still look forward to going home and visiting the old stomping grounds to say hello to the staff and chat with my former boss. The place is like a time warp instantly bringing me back to those careless summer days and crazy summer nights when all that mattered was good friends, good money, and cheap booze.

So my heart broke a little when he informed me that he’s a different man now and so is the business. “Things are just different now,” he said to me this past November. “I’m getting older and I’m not as close with the staff,” he said reluctantly. This is the man who could out-party all of his 20-something staff and still get up and open up shop the next morning. Frozen with disbelief, I let him go on.

“I don’t go out and party like I used to and business is insane so I stay busy.” I understood, of course. A married man with two growing children, two-time business owner, and revered community member who recently lost his beloved mother is bound to take a different perspective on life.

My friend, your eventful past is not to be forgotten and your successful future is to be anticipated. Here’s to you, bossman, because you were the best boss I’ve ever had.

Most people look back on their younger days and shudder at the thought of waiting on tables filled with hungry and sometimes cranky patrons. Not this gal. I dream of those days when my coworkers were my best friends and when my boss was someone I could talk to about anything. Now I find myself desperately censoring my answer to “Did you do anything fun this weekend?”

This boss is a restaurant owner; a leave-home-early-come-home-late restaurant owner who pours his heart and soul into this place and easily made it the best job I’ve ever had. And here’s why:

Recognition

It was no secret to him that recognizing employees for a job well done could make a significant impact on the morale of the team. After a successful, busy night of serving, he’d surprise us with chicken wings or come through the kitchen like he was in a high five tunnel with his contagious grin and tell us all what an excellent night we had. Those small things were incredibly rewarding and kept us excited for the next shift to do it all over again. We knew he was proud and appreciative of our time and effort and that made it worth every second. Free t-shirts when we sold a certain amount? Hell yeah!

Accountability

On the other hand, he was well aware of our mistakes and was quick to hold people accountable. To me, this was essential because there’s nothing worse than watching someone get by on doing the bare minimum. He wanted everyone’s participation and had rules in place that helped to ensure full team participation in all areas. When someone failed to do their part, oh it was going down. So you better check off your name by the “Bathrooms” box in the clean-up chart.

Support

The restaurant business requires pristine customer service in order to build a brand, develop a customer base, and make a profit. He knew this. But he also knew that the customer was not always right (cue the shocked look on all business professionals’ faces). It’s true! Customers can be awful like the time that lady stabbed me in the back with her plate because her shrimp wasn’t fried. I’m sorry, honey, this isn’t Long John Silver’s. Anyway, when it came down to making some tough decisions, he always had our backs. Get it? He trusted his team and had faith in us and that always meant a lot.

Fun

Okay, this isn’t a necessity in a boss. Consider it a perk of working for him. He was a blast to work with and for. He played music the staff wanted to listen to, he threw us company get-togethers, and did what he could to make the work day an eventful one. And when I got a little too drunk at the summer party and acquired a ride home, he greeted me the next day with a snicker and a simple, “how ya feelin’ kid?”

So while you feel like times are changing, and maybe you aren’t as wild as you once were, I want you to know that your unconventional leadership style, one that I will try to mimic someday, is one that I will forever appreciate, that and your endless amount of visor hats.

Cheers to you!

Who is the Average Honey?

29 Oct

Many of us read blog after blog after blog without knowing the expertise or personal background of the authors. I decided to open my book just a little bit more! Feel free to ask more questions!

What is the best job you ever had?

Server! During summer breaks as a college student I worked at this small mom-and-pop seafood restaurant built from the ground up by my boss and his wife. Their son, my manager, was an excellent leader who really knew how to brand the restaurant and make it a great experience for the employees and the patrons. Those were awesome summers full of great food, cheap beer, and lots of laughs!

What is your aim for this year?

That’s easy! Become a better blogger! I realize my blog seems a bit scattered in topic so I really want to zero in on a few major ideas and develop my thoughts on those while also developing and engaging with my audience.

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

When a group of my friends decided to rent a beach house in North Carolina for a week, I was devastated to find out the week they reserved was the week AFTER my spring break from college. Spontaneity got the best of me and I skipped a week of classes and work to hang out by the beach in an enormous house with awesome people. I didn’t miss much.

Who in your family are you most like?

I am my father’s daughter. Just like him, I am a people-person, I love telling stories and am very money conscious. We also share our loud laugh and inner control freak. He is my best friend, my biggest fan and an all-around great person.

How did you rebel as a child?

My rebellious attitude toward my mother began at an early age when I used to slam my door in order to make a statement. As a teenager, I used to sneak out just to hang out with my friends who were allowed to stay out later than I was. We never did anything mischievous, it was enough of an adrenaline rush just to have made it out without getting caught! Those days are over and my mom and I are closer than ever.

Which was the last restaurant you went to?

Pizza Hut! Pepperoni pan pizza is the usual!

What’s something that can always make you feel better?

This is an easy one. Cozy pajamas, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and hot vegetable soup!

5 Things I Want to Learn How to Cook (Well)

27 Oct

Lasagna 

Noodles, cheese, sauce, and meat. How hard could it be? Extremely. Lasagna is no easy dinner to master. In the past it has been difficult to produce quality lasagna that isn’t too cheesy or noodles that aren’t over- or undercooked. Not to mention, I’m not a huge melted cheese fan so making it enjoyable for Vince, who loves cheese, and tolerable for me will be a challenge. Any suggestions? Any good recipes out there?

Cheesecake

Cheesecake is just heavenly and it goes as a great dessert with almost any meal. While this dessert is one I’ve never tried before, I really want to be able to bake a killer cheesecake that I can bring as a dish to parties. It’s great with raspberries, strawberries, chocolate, everything! Do you have any tips for my first attempt?

Chili 

Mild, spicy, hot, vegetarian…the list of varieties goes on. I’m a huge fan of spicy food but I’d love to be able to make a chili that satisfies my taste for fire but also isn’t too much for my milder friends and family. In tasting other chili recipes, I prefer those that have more of a gumbo feel to them – that is, more than just beans and beef.

 Stuffing 

Its that time of year for some good home cooking! That kind of food that puts you in a food coma immediately. Back in high school, I made homemade stuffing in an Introduction to Foods class. It was perfect! But growing up I always had boxed stuffing for dinner. However, after trying real homemade stuffing, the boxed stuffing has never stood a chance against it.

Asian Stir Fry 

Meals like stir fry are always fun because they give the chef an opportunity to get creative. So what’s the problem, you ask? I have yet to learn what types of ingredients go well together, especially with an asian stir fry. I like spicy asian things, not so much the sweet stuff. Do you know of a good asian stir fry recipe?

Two Cents Tuesday: Kids Need to Learn How to Type!

22 Oct

As these words appear on your screen, they were at one time pouring out of my fingers quickly and with skill onto a keyboard. After years of rigorous typing courses beginning at age 11 and ending around age 15, typing is something I’ve become an expert at. It is also something I enjoy.

So when I recently found out that many kids in school today are completely bypassing this necessary training, I was appalled. An 11-year-old close family friend revealed to me that he’s never taken a typing course but is required to write papers and even do homework assignments online.

How do you type? I asked

I just look for the letters I need, he responded

After I told him that I could easily type an entire paper without looking at the keyboard, he was amazed. This skill is absolutely necessary in today’s tech-driven world but young students are being robbed of the proper training.

According to Anna Trubek, professor at Oberlin College, typing courses have simply “fallen out of the curriculum.” In her article published in the MIT Technology Review, she writes:

“Touch typing allows us to write without thinking about how we are writing, freeing us to focus on what we are writing, on our ideas. “

Educators and their leaders make an assumption about today’s society and the abilities of our students. The assumption, her article says, is that kids already know how to type. Sure text messaging and touch screen tablets could be considered typing. But is a 140-character tweet really TYPING or simply jotting? Brevity has become an increasingly hot commodity on the internet and in normal person-to-person contact but yet our standardized tests and colleges require essays and speeches more than 500 words long.

A huge and disappointing gap exists between the two expectations of today’s children. Long essays can seem overwhelming to a student who 1) Can’t type as quickly as he thinks and 2) Can’t expand on thoughts and ideas. It seems technology has demanding needs – brevity, convenience, immediacy – while the education world tries to keep up in order to engage students but loses essential training in order to do so.

Needless to say, typing isn’t the only skill being left behind. But the question is really how can we revamp our education system in order to properly train our students for success? How can we incorporate seemingly outdated needs into technology-friendly lesson plans? It isn’t about numbers. It is about preparation for success. We can leave no room for assumptions.

Courtney O’Connell, a rising leader on the topic of innovation in education, and a friend of mine, offers an interesting perspective that actually encourages change in the industry to adapt to our changing world. Check it out:

Of course, I don’t know the right answer to the questions I have posed…it is just my two cents.

What are your thoughts? Am I being too traditional? Let’s chat!

Lessons in Living with the Opposite Sex

21 Oct

Although I’ve shared rooms with countless girls (ahh, college) living with my boyfriend has proved to be a completely different world. Let’s face it, men and women are just DIFFERENT!

Now that I’m in my new home, I feel inclined to put up decorations! After all, small decorations and good home cooking turn a house into a home. Since fall festivities are in full swing I’ve put up what I consider cute fall decorations. But some didn’t make the cut for the guys. “Too glittery” or “too girly” or “pointless” were their responses.

Lesson Learned: Don’t ask what he thinks about decorations. Just hang them.

Also, us girls…we shed…a lot! With long dark hair, the new shedding around our bedroom is something Vince isn’t used to. According to him, my hair is everywhere, even in between his toes (whoops!) So paying more attention to hair, especially in the shower drain, is extremely important now.

Lesson Learned: Pay attention to the hair I leave behind.

How do young men even survive on the food they eat? The freezer contains frozen pizzas, loaded hot pockets, and all kinds of processed junk while the cabinets hold snacks any 10-year-old would die for: Lays chips and Cocoa Puffs cereal. Making room for my fruits and vegetables wasn’t too difficult…what has been difficult is avoiding all that junk food that taunts me every time I open those doors!

Lesson Learned: Refrain from stuffing my face with snack foods.

There are TONS more lessons to be learned, I’m sure. These are the ones that have stood out in just four days.

 

 

 

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