Friday, December 24, 2010

Goals for 2011

In just a few days, we'll be celebrating the year 2011!! As usual, I always start off the New Year with a list of resolutions goals that I would like to achieve. They're usually nothing extravagant...just a few things that I would love to see come to reality, which of course will make me HAPPY! Here are my short & long term goals for 2011:

Short term Goals (Things that I plan to achieve in the first 6 months of 2011)

1. Land a summer internship (preferably one that is paid)
2. Participate in regular physical activity
3. Laugh more
4. Blog more
5. Solidify my Master's thesis topic
6. Buy more dresses

Long term Goals (Things that I plan to achieve in the last 6 months of 2011):

1. Visit a country I've never been to before..I mean ever
2. Become C.H.E.S certified [Certified Health Education Specialist]
3. Take the Road test and GET MY OWN DRIVER'S LICENSE

So what are your goals for the New Year? And remember be realistic, specific and optimistic. 

Merry Christmas,
Lilia :o)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My OWN Thanksgiving meal

My family and I never really 'celebrated' Thanksgiving. This is partly due to our immigrant status. It's only been about 2 years ago that we've tried to have the whole family gathering over a big feast. I only had 2 days off for Thanksgiving this year, plus the weekend of course, which is a short break from what I'm used to, but I'm not complaining :) As a result, I decided to stay in OH and i tried my own thanksgiving meal. The Bf visited and we cooked together. Here is the meal we cooked/baked:

We argued the whole time..laughed the whole time and enjoyed a great meal we cooked ourselves. It was great!

This is the pumpkin bread I baked. Surprisingly, it tasted nothing like pumpkin....Probably 7 cups of flour was too much...LoL

And here's the happy couple...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's going on?

I have been very busy lately, you know Grad school stuff! LOL. I have several projects that I am working on: the first is a group project that I where we are in the process of writing a grant whose aim is to implement a one-stop wellness center for the elderly. Our hope is that the wellness center will provide a space for the elderly who would like to participate in physical activity and rehabilitation. In addition, the wellness center will provide information on nutrition specifically for the elderly (i.e in the form of cooking classes etc.). Lastly, we hope that the wellness will have a counseling component designed for the elderly in mind. Overall, our vision for the wellness center is all-inclusive....hence, one-stop.

The second project that I an working on is writing a literature review. I have completed the first draft of the lit. review, now it's time for draft II. This lit. review addresses the non-financial barriers to seeking rehabilitation for the disabled elderly and the ways in which a mobile rehabilitation unit can address those issues.

Stay tuned for more non-academic updates. :o)


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Strangers with a similar voice

This weekend, I was able to present my research at a national conference in Philadelphia. And what is my research you might ask? My research examines mentoring for black, female undergraduate students by black, female professors at predominantly white institutions. I was able to present my findings with my mentor at the Research on Women & Education. It was a great experience to get my 'feet wet' and to observe the work of other scholars in their field, but to network as well. 

Honestly, part of the work of a graduate student is to present their work, and by work I mean research. Even if that work is not related to your thesis. It is highly recommended and encouraged. Professors are impressed with students who are able to present at national conferences. So, please present: The earlier, the better. Trust me. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Dancing & Ice skating was on the agenda for last night. I had so much fun with friends trying to ice skate and for those of you who don't already know, I have little to no ice skating skills, but being on the ice was fun. Dancing was also ridiculously fun that we did not want to leave the dance floor. Despite all the fun we were having on the dance floor, there was one thing hanging at the back of our minds. The dance club that we went to is a favorite my undergrads. As a grad students, our interaction with undergrads now takes on a different approach. Most of us have teaching assistantships, where we teach undergrads, and the idea of bumping into one of our students raises our anxiety level a little bit. 

For instance, here you are dancing to one of our favorite hits and you suddenly turn around to see your student acting 'crazy' on the dance floor. Question: what do you do as a graduate student: keep dancing, pretending not to see this student? turn around? move to a different spot? or leave the dance floor?
This is our dilemma! I mean knowing who you're dancing with takes on another level...random dancing can't work anymore... talk about awkwardness...
Our goal is to stay far away from places such as these...although as a grad students we can blend in with the under grads, but it just doesn't cut it anymore...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Graduate School Affair!

Yet another update on what's going on in Grad School!

Last night was soooo much fun! As a grad student, you can lost in your department, never seeing other graduate students from other departments. This is why the Graduate Students' Association (GSA) exists: to provide the opportunity for other graduate students to meet other graduate schools from other departments. For example, the graduate school organized a bowling night that I attended with a friend from our department.

At the bowling alley we met other graduate students who were in the Psychology, Botany, Microbiology, and Zoology departments. We had such a fun time. My bowling was not that great (I believe I bowled like 6 gutters that night), but I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard and so long.

I encourage graduate students to step out of their bubbles, and meet other graduate students. There is so much more to graduate school than just academics  y'all.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Artist of the Week Series #2

Another Jamaican favorite of mine is none other than Junior Kelly. I had the pleasure of meeting Junior last summer in Brooklyn, NY at a charity performance he did to raise money for a high school in Jamaica. My boyfriend bought the tickets and I was really surprised, not to mention extremely excited to know that we were going to see him perform. I love J. Kelly's music, because it is rich, uplifting and captivating. His lyrics are 'deep' conscious-raising and soulful. What can I say, I love reggae music and I just love Junior Kelly!

My favorite songs of his are:
Love so Nice
Jah Give me Strength

P.S. If you click on the link, it will take you to his myspace site, where you can get to know more about him and his music. Enjoy

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Artist of the Week series #1 - Etana: "The Strong One"

So, I will be using this blog to share some of MY favorite artists and music. The artist of the week is none other than Ms. Etana: "the strong one", who is absolutely beautiful. She hails from Jamaica, with a beautiful set of vocals and I love her style, her music, and the positive energy that is always expressed in her music. Her music is thought-provoking, it uplifts, it educates, and it strengthens. I also love the confidence that surfaces with her music and in her music videos. 

I've posted a link to her Myspace page for more information on her, her music and what she's been up to lately. Just click on the title of this blog to get to her page.

I've not added a photo of her, because I do not want to be subject to copyright infringement or being called rude and what not. Lilia don't want no trouble! Ha ha..mama ain't raise no fool!

Hope you guys enjoy! 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jogging anyone? What about Spinning?

I have decided to take the time to try something different! You know Something NEW! I love staying fit and being physically active and so to continue doing so I have decided to try out the new *free* group exercise classes at the gym. I figured, I'll try something new while its free. That way if I don't like it, I wouldn't waste some $$$ I chose Spinning from a list of yoga, pilates, and among some other things. I had never tried Spinning before, and so I did not know what to expect. I signed up for the Tuesday and Thursday 8am morning classes. The class lasted for 45 minutes. Although the instructor was nice she was tough and we had to spin spin spin.

If you're not familiar with Spinning, its a form of aerobic exercise that uses a stationary bike, with resistance on the front wheels. So its non-stop pedaling for a GREAT workout. It really is a great workout. Here is a youtube link that describes the process:

My second new experience was jogging outdoors. I like to pride myself on someone who loves the outdoors, and yet, I haven't jogged outside. Anywhoo, I can now say that I have jogged outside. I jog for 20-25 minutes and ALWAYS stretch afterward (and you should too) :o) I would recommend any student who is on a budget to use their physical environment (if it permits) to stay fit. It is a great way to save money, while you stay fit. I typically use the early morning hours to work out, between 7 am & 8 am. As a busy university student, this is the best time for me, besides I am a morning person and love to get up and get going as early as I can.

Try something new today, this week, but not too late now, you don't want life to pass you by!

Take care

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One of the biggest & baddest things in Graduate School

Hi guys,

Graduate Assistantships or GAs are the best thing next to slice bread. In fact, they are one of the BIGGEST & BADDEST things about Graduate School! We'll kind of. GAs are academic awards given to grad students who work for the university. The work is usually teaching in your department, which is at the college level, doing research in your department in collaboration with a professor or doing administrative work.

In exchange for your service (which is usually 18-20hrs a week, YES A WEEK!!), tuition is free and you receive a monthly stipend. Assistantships are very competitive and vary from school to school. They offer a great way to gain valuable experience in your field of study. Furthermore, I don't have to take out a loan to pay off the 7% that I owe each semester, because my stipend covers it all.
Five reasons why I love my assistantship:

1.  93% of my costs are erased in exchange for my work which is thousands of dollars especially for an   out-of-state student.

2. I only work 20 hours a week... equivalent to a part-time job and need to have a minimum of 9 credit hrs.

3. I get 10% off my books at the bookstore and we all know how textbooks can be so expensive

4. Currently, I am gaining valuable work experience in leadership and team work as a graduate assistant

5. Parking on campus is reduced from $200 to $30....SWEET!

    Wouldn't you want a GA?

Take care,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

ALWAYS stay True to YOURSELF No Matter What!

One of the most important things I learned during orientation as a graduate students was to stay true to myself. This entails not changing who I am to fit in with everything and everyone around me. Now this can happen both on an academic level and at a social level. As a graduate student professors will demand different things saying to you: do this, have you read this, have you thought of this or change this as you conduct research or write a paper. In addition, as a graduate student in a totally different environment, you can find yourself changing aspects of who you are to make friends or fit in with a certain group of people. It is very easy to get distracted in graduate school because of the constant advice that you receive from professors or advisors, but clearly stating what you want to do and how you would like to go about doing it will allow other people to work with you to get that done. The fact of the matter is if you stay true to who you are, the friends will come and the confidence that you have gained from knowing who you are inside and out will draw people to you who may then constitute as friends.

There is no reason to change who you are at graduate school to fit in. Friends and academic success will definitely follow because people will notice the confidence you have in yourself and in your work and will ultimately be drawn to that. Most importantly, the number one reason as to why you are in graduate school is to get a graduate degree. Its not about losing yourself. From my experience, people who change themselves are the ones who aren't confident in who they are or are individuals who do not have a solid circle of friends that they can depend on no matter what. Such people are often unhappy and chronic unhappiness in graduate school will make your time a lot more difficult than it has to be. Always remember to stay true to who you are no matter what!

I believe Shakespeare said it the best in Hamlet:
"This above all: to thine own self be true,/And it must follow, as the night the day,/Thou cans't not be false to any man "(ll.78-80).