Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two Posts in a Day - What a Treat!

I'm spending as much time as possible working in the Animal Science Office these last two weeks of the semester to make a little extra cash. What is super sweet about this job is that if they don't have anything for me to do, then I can do whatever, well within reason. Like, I did a lot of my homework last week and studied for my final last night all day yesterday, while getting paid for it! Pretty sweet! Now to justify it a bit, I have to be able at a moment's notice be able to drop whatever I'm doing and help out wherever I can - sort mail, run some paperwork to another building, file some documents, make copies, answer phones, etc. So I have been helpful as well :)

But this afternoon has been rather slow, so y'all get treated with two posts! So I decided to write about something that is near and dear to my heart - Purdue and what it has meant to me. I suppose I'm getting melancholy as I have some close friends graduating in just a few days and I will be starting my last semester in January!

- Awesome spirit/pride! I know people get excited for their schools, but I was at a reception a few weeks ago and a lady sitting at my table told the entire group that she believes Purdue is on a whole new level than her former institution where she worked. All she had to say was "Hook 'em Horns," for us to realize she was talking about Texas University. I can't think of too many more enthusiastic and loyal fans as Texas probably has, but proud that she considers us Boilermakers in a league of our own!

- Friendships! "College is the best time in your life," so they say. I believe this is true. You are a grown-up, but yet still somewhat sheltered from the real world. Seriously - when working a full-time job you aren't going to decide to make a midnight Insomnia Cookies run with your friends because you wouldn't last through your 8 -hour work day! I have made the majority of my best friends here at Purdue.

- Possibilities! Meeting new people, travel opportunities, joining new clubs, professional opportunities, learning experiences inside and out of the classroom!

- Atmosphere! Campus is beautiful! I think the ideal day is a clear, warm, fall day when there is a home football game! The atmosphere is almost electric, yet serene and peaceful, if that makes sense?

- Growth! I have grown so much as a person. I have been through some of the worst times as well, but have been able to rise to the occasion through the help of my friends, whom I consider my Purdue Family. I have grown as a professional individual to go out into the Ag Industry, complete with a new hairdo :). I have grown so much in my faith to the point where I want to learn more and be able to share my passion for Christ and personal development. I have grown in academic learning and knowledge or at least that is what my transcript says.

So thank you all to my Purdue Family! I throughly bleed Black and Gold now! BOILER UP!

In front of the Purdue Memorial Union - rocking out my senior chords :)

Ice is not Nice!

I know the word 'nice' needs the letters 'ice' to spell it, but I do argue that the adjective 'nice' should never be used with the noun 'ice.' Unless you're really hot or dehydrated and you add ice to your beverage to cool it down even more.

But it's December folks, so you can probably see where I'm going with this. December means pretty snow to highlight everything about the Christmas season. I'm not a snow-hater unless it is the dubious type of snow that covers up and hides sneaky, slippery ice patches in parking lots. Particularly ones beside my poor, innocent, sweet Gerdy (my car).

Ok - so I'm being a drama queen and I'll cut to the chase - I fell on the ice. And of course, the way I fell was in a compromising manner for my left knee. While I have a brand new ACL in my left knee, it can still be damaged and there is the possibility that I did something to it. Not completely sure, but usually new swelling and pain isn't a good thing.

So I'm going to 'baby-it' this week until I get home next week and then possibly go and see the doc if it doesn't go away by then. The whole ironic point of this all is that this week's physical therapy sessions were my last ones! So who knows what this all might bring?

So to snow this time, I do indeed say, "Bah-humbug!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Last Steep Climb

I have seen a few different documentaries/ stories on Mt. Everest and the analogy of the last steep climb before you reach the summit is very appropriate for me right now!

Reason 1: There are two and half weeks until the end of the semester! I am 2 exams, 1 presentation, 1 report, 4 Mortar Board Events, hopefully about 20 hours of work in the Animal Science Office and 3 finals away from the end of the semester! I know that sounds like a lot, but not really!

Reason 2: My therapy hit a new phase today and I was super excited after my glowing reviews from the Doc last Tuesday, then the reality of running for the first time in approximately 7 months hit me when I met Mr. Treadmill again after a long break in our relationship! I went 5 minutes and about died! Then we started some jumping! :) (that is a sarcastic emoticon.) I realized that my leg is still incredibly weak and it was pretty disheartening. 

The one redeeming factor was that my therapist told me to go buy new shoes! That was music to my ears. I typically don't need a reason to go buy new shoes, I'm quite capable. But, to have my therapist validate an actual need for a new pair, versus my usual want for a new pair, totally made my day! So, with mommy and daddy's credit card (this was an "unforeseen medical expense", which is why it wasn't my credit card) I ventured back out into this first snowy day of winter to a local sports store and got a great new pair of running shoes!

So I'm going to try and use the excitement of the oh so-close summit as energy and motivation to the top! As Miley Cyrus would put it, "It's all about the climb! Keep your faith." It ain't about how fast I get there folks, but what I learn along the way :) So wise beyond her years! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Day Reflections

So many things to be thankful for indeed!
1- I'm home for the holiday this year!
2- My brother's in-laws (basically Marla) was pouting that I couldn't make it over there this weekend, which means they love me :)
3- Met my new doggie nephew, Buddy. A black golden-doodle! Very Cute!
4- I'm on the verge of full recovery for my knee!
5- I have a wonderful home to come home to, which includes my family, pets and friends!
6 - It's now officially Christmas season :)
7- Although I may not know exactly what my life is going to look like in a year - I have been blessed with many talents and I'm excited to see how God is going to use them!

I miss my adventures. I'm making new ones everyday though in some way or another or at least making new memories. Mom and i have been watching a lot of Hallmark movies and they always make me feel good inside. There was one though that portrayed a big-time lawyer and she got magically put into a different life that had a husband and kids. I could empathize with her in both lives. She had a killer down-town office, then the next moment she was tucking in two adorable children. I hope to not have to choose one life over the other someday, but if I did, I would now find myself choosing the later. But why worry about tomorrow - there's a verse about somewhere in the Bible. So, I'll do my best not to and live in today! And my plans for the rest of the day are to help daddio put lights up, do a little grocery shopping and have dinner with two of my best girlfriends from high school! We are going to cook dinner, watch a movie and because we're old enough and it's yummy - drink some wine! :)

Boiler Up tomorrow! Oaken Bucket Game and my last football game as a college student, and I'm taking my daddy. Couldn't think of a better person to spend it with :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Winterization 2010

OMG is all I have to say about how I feel right now! Winterization was amazing! We had approximately 481 volunteers between those that went out and volunteered and the crew that supported the madness!

The best part for me was when I got to meet the lady that started the Winterization service project 9 years ago! To see what her idea and passion has turned into was such a rewarding experience. I was in the middle of registering volunteers, so I didn't really get a chance to talk with her, but it was so awesome that she came back and volunteered in this year's Winterization!

So today is your lucky day - this post is actually going to be the usual size of a blog post so I'll just give one last shout-out to everyone at Wesley who rocked it out today and all of our wonderful volunteers!!!!!!

PS - Harry Potter was AWeSomE last night/early this morning!!!!! Got together with some of my girls I don't get to see that often as we screamed, jumped and cried (I didn't, but they did) through the epic experience that this movie was!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving and Service

This Thanksgiving season has offered me a few more unique experiences that I think and feel are going to allow me to appreciate this holiday even more. Through the busy times of college and drama that surrounds every normal human being, I have been offered some opportunities to serve and had some great conversations with a few people that I would consider my mentors.

The season started off with Mortar Board serving a Thanksgiving meal at the YWCA for the local women's shelter. I carved my second turkey in my lifetime, made a lot of stuffing and became the 'finder of all things' in the kitchen. I did not get to interact with the guests there that much, but it was still rewarding to take some time and put towards a great cause.

Then I would count my time towards getting things together for Mortar Board today as 'service.' I love this organization, but the fact that we are insanely busy as an organization on top of all of the students' busy schedules can be a logistical nightmare for me sometimes getting things together as the secretary.

WINTERIZATION is here!!!!! Well, Saturday and we have a RECORD number of volunteers registered. Almost 500!!!!!! This is going to be insane, but awesome-crazy insaneness working with all of these volunteers Saturday morning. These volunteers will help approximately 130 residents within the Lafayette/West Lafayette area who are not able to winterize their own homes. We are about to pull off the most epic Winterization ever and crossing my fingers to avoid any unnecessary jinxing, we are in pretty good shape as far as preparations go for registration, mapping/directions and food!

This coming Monday, I am helping with a leadership seminar with the Tomahawk group on campus. I'm super excited to be helping facilitate this, especially after attending the AFA Conference a few weeks ago. I get to be on the other side of the conversation by driving it and I'm already feeling the giddy excitement/ passion inside of me and I hope the students get a lot out of it!

So overall, I'm super excited to be able to give back in so many different ways this week and I feel it is with a new servant's heart when I volunteer. I had two great, random conversations with a couple of Animal Science professors that I would deem as two of my mentors. Both very strong in their faith and people who I admire. These just seemed to have came at the right time to add to my great week!

Through the busyness of life, it is times like these that rejuvenate my soul and keeps me moving on!!!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Feeling a 'Nudge'

This past weekend I went to the AFA Leaders Conference in Kansas City, MO. AFA stands for Agriculture Future of America. It was a great weekend filled with awesome speakers, meeting gifted students from all across the country, discussing issues in the agriculture industry and of course leaving me confused to my calling in life. But hey, many of us are most of the time, at lease I hope I'm not the only one?

The theme this year was "Our Voice, Our Vision," and the goal was to equip us with the tools to tell our story related to Agriculture to combat some of the craziness of other organizations that are against production agriculture due to their perceived "ethical and safety standards." I basically want to ask those opposed to production agriculture if they want to eat in 40 years when there are 9 BILLION people on this planet and we are utilizing less than 70% of the land and resources we have in today's agricultural production? Technology and innovation are key people to feed the world come 2050.

The food producers of the world are consumers as well. Do you think they would really produce something unsafe for their own children to eat? Same goes for the use of antibiotics in the meat industry, I would sure like to eat a healthy animal even if it was treated with antibiotics rather than a diseased one. This stuff has been tested and the science is behind it. I could throw out more facts and figures about the safety of our food system, but I think I've made my point, so I'll get off my soap box and move onto another topic.

What I think I got more out of this year's conference was another nudge towards ministry. Every Christian is called to some sort of ministry to share their stories of faith. But it was two years ago at this conference that I first felt a nudge. There were lots and lots of leadership presentations and I thought about how cool it would be to present a lot of this stuff, only with a "Christian twist." It got my mind percolating at least, but I didn't take much action from there, or did I without really knowing it? That's about when I made the first commitment to Disciple Bible Study when the craziness of my 2009 was over. That's about when I knew I wanted to grow as a person and jump into the craziness of 2009 and have experiences of a lifetime!

I've always liked leadership training and development. The Madison County Youth Leadership Academy was my first real taste of that back in 2005 and now I have a minor in leadership in college. I was sitting in my OLS class today and we talked about the spectrum from behavioral leadership to value-based leadership and I could see myself using this material down the road. Servant leadership was the main topic in lecture and it could not have come at a better time - leading for a moral and ethical purpose above your own purpose. Hmmm..... Christian Leadership?

What really gave me this nudge this year was recognizing the difference in my confidence between two different sessions. The first session was an executive forum where we had the opportunity to talk with executives in the industry about key issues and what can be done about them. This wasn't just a panel up there on stage where only about half the audience is truly engaged - it was six or eight students to one executive at a table and we had three rotations to meet other execs. For the most part I felt I could hold my own against these other crazy-ambitious students, but I couldn't come from a first-hand point of view about many of the issues. I couldn't really speak knowledgeably and therefore confidently about some of the topics and I left that session feeling kind of beat up on the inside. Not a complete failure, but definitely not feeling like a million bucks.

The second session was the fellowship opportunity on Sunday morning. It was not a typical worship service. There were a couple of songs and a few prayers, but it was more of a round table discussion again for about 30 minutes where the facilitator had pulled out some practical examples in the Bible that related to our theme that we have been discussing in an ag-related mindset, only now applying it to our faith. Basically, Christians' "Our Voice, Our Vision." Nobody really took the lead at our table to start developing discussion, so I just jumped in before I think I realized it - and it was AWESOME! We had a great discussion, I was pulling questions out of nowhere that helped drive the conversation with basically complete strangers. Well, I have a pretty good idea where I was pulling them from actually, or who was supplying them rather. There was a student from OSU who was at two of the exec. forum tables I was at and who was also at my table during the fellowship. I was impressed by him during the exec. forum because he was very well spoken and knowledgable about several of the issues. He then paid me a compliment after the fellowship session!

To spare this from getting much longer, as I'm sure I'll write more about this in my quest to hone in on what this nudge means, I'm now going to start researching different programs in Christian Leadership. Drumroll please......... that probably means some sort of seminary for me! Growing up, I always wanted to do what my brother did - pulled my two front teeth out when he lost his, played with Power Rangers instead of Barbies, wanted to drive when he started to drive and definitely wanted a letter jacket when he got his! But I still did my own thing: He was a bookworm - I rode my horses, he played with legos - I had my toy horses. Ok, yes, there is a pattern here, I'm horse-crazy - what's new? So now I suppose I'm still playing copy-cat with the idea about going to seminary someday. Although he did admit on the phone yesterday that we are kind of alike and there is a small piece of similarity between the two of us - which is hilarious actually!

Stay-tuned for where this nudge will lead me next!

Monday, October 25, 2010


So I had a bit of 'retail therapy' yesterday with my friend Sarah Jay as we started her registry for her wedding and I've been doing plenty of physical therapy (everyday for the last 2 and half months), so now it is time for a little bit of writing therapy! :)

To use one of my favorite words, I've been redonculously busy. But it has been a good busy. I've actually allowed myself some 'me time' in the midst of my ever so crazy life at school, be it that most of that 'me time' comes on a bike in the Co-Rec, but instead of reading my homework all the time, I download a random or sappy romance to read on my wonderful Kindle :) Multi-tasking at its finest folks, reading for pleasure while working out!

Mortar Board has been a wonderful experience this semester! We have had a busy last two weekends in a row and we WON HOMECOMING! Well, both the Boilers and Mortar Board that is. We won the window painting contest and then also the overall best student organization that did both a window and float, so I'm pretty stoked about that. Plus my mom painted my senior cords, as in corduroy pants, and they looked killer. If there had been an award for that, I pretty much would have won it - hands down :)
I love getting to know these wonderful people and have the opportunity to impact Purdue's campus in a positive way. I am so blessed to be a part of this organization!

Oh - some big news - I HAVE A JOB! Like a real-life, big-person, grown-up kind of job when I graduate. I am excited and feel old at the same time. I took my offer from John Deere to be a marketing rep starting in June, so it is nice to know that there will be something waiting for me after I walk the stage. I have no idea where I'll be and who knows how long I'll be with the company? They'll have better luck keeping me around if they put me in Texas or Indiana, just saying.

Ok - therapy session complete! Enjoy the beautiful fall weather and happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hola, como estas?

So my roommates are trying to teach me Spanish since they are both pretty much fluent in it. I thought this everyday greeting would be appropriate since it has been forever since I've been on here and simply ask anyone who might stumble across this long-awaited post, "How are you?"

So big news in my life - I just accepted a job offer with John Deere today. As much as my heart wants to be back in Texas, I just couldn't find a way to make that happen just yet. John Deere will be a great way to start my professional career though and I have always enjoyed the challenging work environment along with the Deere culture.

My knee is coming along nicely. I'm up to 135 degree plus bend and am getting so close to full range of motion. The strength still isn't back yet, so I'm still dragging myself to the gym everyday, except when my roommate kidnaps me for late night study sessions with her with the promise of kicking me out of bed in the morning to make up for it. 

So life overall is good, scary with the unknowns coming but at least I know I will be employed after I walk the stage this coming May. I love, love, love the girls I'm living with - Kathleen and Emily are two of the best roommates ever! I'm just upset that we don't spend more time with each other because we are all so busy! They are both hitting companies hard to find their jobs after graduation as well. I suppose the three of us could only drag out our Purdue experience for five years . . . we all have to jump out into the real world sometime.

I'm leading the DISCIPLE Bible Study again at my church. It has grown to have the possibility of 22 members in it, which is INSANE! It makes me happy though that that many students/young adults are willing to put in the time and dedication needed to take this class to learn about the Bible.

I have a new friend! Sir Nick, the white Beta fish :) His name was originally Casper until I discovered that some of my friends already had a white Beta fish named Casper. I was quite distraught and made them help me think of another 'ghost-like' name for him. Sir Nick is from "Nearly Headless Nick" in the Harry Potter books and movies. I really wanted a ghost name because this fish should truly be dead as he flopped into the sink while I was trying to transfer him and literally laid on one of the flaps leading down into the garbage disposal before I could scoop him up in my bare hands and throw him into his new home. And miraculously - HE LIVED! I thought about Lazarus, but that name seemed too intense for a fish.

I truly hope this finds you well and since I've found my writing itch, I will be trying to blog more often now. The book I'm currently reading, "Chosen by a Horse," is about a lady in her mid forties, a single social worker, but has her own little horse farm and four horses. She is nursing back an abused Standardbred racehorse and she still feels as if she has a book inside of her to write. Hmmm . . . sounds like me. I could see myself in another twenty years like her - lol! But hey, at least I'd have my horses :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hanging in There

Being laid up is not a whole lot of fun, but with a positive attitude, lovely parents/nurses, movies and pain meds - I've made it work.

The docs were very happy with the work that they did. It was textbook the way the operation went and I recovered rather nicely in recovery. No major upsets, except for my tummy on Thursday night - you can get the picture.

The docs were really impressed with my mobility the next day after my surgery and my 'chipper' attitude. Folks, I don't have that long until classes start up, so I'm doing the best I can without pushing it too much. I have a few friends that would be down my throat if I hurt myself more by just trying to get better faster.

It's been nice to spend time with my family though through all of this and I'm really excited that Ben and Eva are up here for the weekend as well. Ben is preaching at church in the morning and mom and dad are giving their witnesses or faith stories. I'd love to go to both services, but my little jaunt out to Blockbuster and GFS wore me out enough today, so I think one service will be quite enough :)

So I'm taking 'each step' rather slowly these days, on my way to full recovery!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Black Knight has Returned

After a much awaited re-appearance of the Black Knight, she has finally returned. After a long summer of craziness with her third summer with John Deere and being nervous about how the summer would turn out - the Knight is back! (Quick note - The Black Knight came as a nick-name from my girls in Ireland when they were on a Monty Python kick as for some reason I was invincible like the Black Knight was as he kept on going after his hand was cut off.)

Here's how:

1- Rocked out the rest of the summer at Harvester Works. I learned so much about the John Deere STS 70 Series combine, how it is made and a pretty good history base of John Deere. My final tour, a handful of my friends hopped on the cart and I was pretty nervous as two of them were engineers and one was a life-long farmer. I got the thumbs-up approval from all of them though so that was wonderful!

2- I am a real-life hero now according to some. To me, I just reacted as others would have, I just was somehow faster than the rest, even with a torn ACL. After our final presentations in Kansas City, a few of the interns were hanging out around the pool area. A family with three boys came down with the youngest being maybe 2 at best. We were all kind of worried for him because he didn't have floaties or anything on. Well, 20 or so minutes later I see this little blonde, curly-haired, blue-eyed cutie running full blast to the hot-tub. I was going to get up to just be like "Hey there, let's not run around here," and guide him away from the hot-tub. But the next second, I realized he was not stopping and was going in.

Here is what I remember: Jumping up out of my chair and then pulling the kid out of the water! I don't remember how many steps it took or what I was thinking. I remember seeing his face under water and making sure he was breathing as I pulled him up - my CPR training was starting to come back to me in the heat of the moment if I needed to use it, but as I pulled him straight up, he was coughing/spitting up water which meant he was breathing as well.

His mom was right there to take him from me and it was as I was getting out of the hot-tub that I realized I was sopping wet from toe to chest. My poor Justin boots and Express jeans didn't have a chance with as fast as I reacted. I think they'll be ok though, the boots took about two full days to dry but I should be able to work out the chlorine stains in them. The parents insisted on thanking me in some way and came back about 30 minutes later with a fresh bottle of the same wine we had already finished. Completely unnecessary, but nice.

3- ACL surgery this Wednesday! So the Black Knight will be fully on the way to complete recovery! My surgeon has chosen the route to take a part of my hamstring to make my new ACL. Apparently it's the best way to do it according to him because it is how Tiger Woods' surgeon did his. So if Tiger Woods did it - it must be the best right? I mean, it has always been my dream to immolate Tiger Woods. Ok, I'll quit being sarcastic and mean, I wish the man the best really on his road to recovery and back to grace and hope he starts playing better than he has this season.

4- I had a blast designing a business card for my family friend/ Aunt Sylvia for her business pursuit into a small sewing company after she retires - so feels good to have to have those creative juices flowing.

Erika, Mariel and Alyssa - fear not - BK is back!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Potential Dr. Phil Guest

No, I haven't written in to be on the show, but there was a guest on his show the other day that I hope I don't turn into.

She was a young, pretty, articulate, friendly woman who had no idea what to do as far as choosing the right career. A career that she is passionate about and would be excited to wake up everyday to. She was a college-graduate, but transferred schools and changed majors about 5 times. So I have a bit of catching up to do in that area, but I totally saw where she was coming from. She was 'good' at a lot of things, but just didn't know that one thing that she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

Now, the major difference between the two of us was that I don't think she was willing to give a job a good shot. Once I do graduate, wherever I decide to go, I'm going to give it an honest try. As long as I'm trying my best, I'm pretty positive that some good things will come of it!

But there is still that fear of 'closing the door' on something else. When you say yes to something, then you're also saying no to something else.

- Froot Loops or Golden Grahams?
- Workout or Nap?
- The pink or green shirt?
- "Toy Story 3" or "The Last Airbender"?

All very good options, but unfortunately 50% are going to get rejected. So I'm going to have to be very strong to close whichever door I have to, because I know it's going to be a very heavy one. But I spent some money at the Christian Book Store on some devotionals based around staying positive, discovering my strengths and becoming a woman after God's heart. So I'm planning on keeping my faith strong and know that God will show me which doors to open and close.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


So my last blog was pretty negative, especially for me. I mean, I did get some bad news, so I wasn't a very happy camper. But it's amazing to me how God works.

The very next day, I hosted and drove the tour for the Wounded Warrior group that was having a conference at the Rock Island Arsenal. My limp fit right in, but these guys were mainly from Iraq and a handful were young, not much older than me.

I feel I worded it best as yes, I'm bummed that this silly, semi-small piece of tissue is slowing me down and keeping me from the things I love such as basketball, frisbee and riding horses, but these guys went to a foreign country and put themselves in harm's way to protect my freedom to do those things. These guys were brought to tears to see the appreciation that the factory workers had for them. The factory was full of flags and banners thanking these guys for what they do. By the end of the tour, the soldiers were hugging me!

I'm still young and I will heal. These things are pretty routine and I have a good surgeon lined up back home that will fix me up in just over a month and within a year, I'll only have a scar to remind me of this and a set of crutches collecting dust in the closet. I'll also have a pretty sweet brace that will most likely become part of my athletic apparel which will make me look pretty legit :)

While I'll be missing my amateur return to the Henry County annual free-for-all pick-up football game and my last chance for a intramural flag football championship is shot - life could be so much worse. I have a sweet job for the summer, endless possibilities ahead of me, great friends, a loving family and a victory lap left in school before the real world hits! So it's all about the perspective. There's my usual positive self - hope y'all enjoyed having her back!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Well poop

I know its been awhile since I've got on here. Life is going way too fast! The job is GREAT! I  love working at the factory and everyone I have met has been great. I've been blogging on a company blog which is why I have neglected this one. Sorry.

So I've been physically slowed down recently though. I injured my knee at the end of May playing basketball here with the interns. The ER doctor knew squat - told me to rest and I'd be fine. So that's what I did. Three weeks no basketball, frisbee or softball! It was rough.

I hosted a big fly-in last week and it went super awesome! My knee was feeling better too so I decided to continue my happiness and try playing some basketball again! Bad, bad, bad idea. I drove the lane, went up for a lay-up and my knee twisted all over again. I made the shot, even though I didn't watch it go in because I was in so much pain again that I just fell to the court. So I literally scooted myself off the court and made an appointment at a sports med place to actually talk to some people who knew what the heck they were doing.

So last Thursday I got in and the doctor thought it looked like a torn meniscus, but wasn't ruling out any ACL damage either and scheduled me for an MRI. But that was good news in that 1- I had some better answers as to what was wrong with me and 2- the meniscus repair would be pretty minor.

Here's where the title of the blog comes in- got a call back from my doctor from my MRI this morning and although they were not the 'official' results, she said it was pretty obvious that I tore my ACL. So now its a matter of when and where I want to have the surgery done. I know some people let it go and let it heal without, but I don't want to worry about this knee for the rest of my life and if I ever want to play ball and all again without constantly wondering if I'm going to twist it again, then there really is no option. It's just kind of a bad situation as I want to finish my internship but not have it interfere with school either. So POOP!

Not sure if anyone will read this, but I feel better after my typing/blogging therapy. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Adventure

Every day I get to cross the Mississippi River twice! I'm back with John Deere again this summer working in East Moline as Harvester Works, which is where they make those awesome green combines!!!! My goal is to become a combine expert, well at least as close to one as possible, by the end of the summer!

My Spring semester at Purdue ended nicely. Grades are available 8 am Eastern time, so I'm crossing my fingers for all A's. There is only one that I'm not sure about. But anyways, there was a quick turn around from finals to my new job.

So far the job is going well. Just a lot to take in and to try and incorporate what exactly I'm supposed to be doing. So far my manager and I are trying to incorporate all of my projects into one broader 'Customer Relationships' theme.

I haven't really reached out to the other interns yet because I've been dealing with sinus headaches during this transition. So by the time I get off work, then I'm ready to crash! But I'm really excited to make it down to Kansas soon to see some of my old intern friends and connect with the rest of the marketing interns :) There won't be any crazy travel stories this year, my project will be here at Harvester, but there is plenty to learn here. I have permission to go on any and as many tours as I want so there will be plenty of miles on the tram under the roof of the factory :)

Well, sorry this is short and I  haven't written in awhile, but I need to get some food soon before Purdue's  Latin and Ball Room Dance club is on Dancing with the Stars and Glee is on later tonight too :) Some good tv to chill out on tonight :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Temporary False Identity

Just to give you all a heads up - I'm working on a project for my COM 252 class where we have to do a website for our final project. Creating a blog was one of our options, so I've made a second blog to act like the news room for the Jahari Dance Troop here at Purdue.

The thing is that my 'about me' carried over to that blog as well so I made up a fictitious little  bio and all my information to temporarily match what I need for the project. It's going to be like this for a little while, so sorry for the inconvience and I'll be back to the real Britt Cassiday in about 2 weeks!

Sorry for not posting much - life at Purdue is keeping me busy but no really awesome stories like I had to share on my travels, at least I don't think so. Although, I listened to a Webinar the other day about personal branding, so I might start using this blog to do a little bit more of that, rather than a diary format. Not sure - so stay tuned! 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hello Strangers

Whether or not I really have very many people reading this, I wanted to say hello to y'all because you probably feel like strangers since I have not blogged in awhile. Well, today is your lucky day, because I just finished up my homework for my next class that meets in about 25 minutes and I have nothing else to do. I mean, I set aside some quality time in my busy schedule to write to you all :)

Last time I wrote I was coming home from Spring Break and that seems like forever ago, even though it was just a short two weeks. When I mean short, I mean BUSY! The first week back I hit the ground running with assignments, exams, speeches, projects and papers. Yay American continual assessment teaching styles! Seriously, I did not feel this stressed out during the semester in Ireland. But this world is one of give and take and stress hit me like a BRICK WALL come finals. But, see it as I will only be taking 2 finals this semester for my 6 classes, granted I get a high enough grade in my Ag Econ class to be excused from the final, I don't think finals week will be too stressful except for the fact that I'm moving out the day of my last final because I have to report to work that following Monday! So ya, maybe stressful but in a whole new way. I love finding new ways to push myself to the limits! That right there folks was sarcasm at its finest, which I have been told I'm pretty good at ;)

Speaking of strangers, I had a repeat creepy foreign older guy trying to pick me up experience. Except it was here on campus and the guy was totally American, but definitely too old to be hitting on college girls. After having previous experience with this, I immediately realized what he was up to, said "Thanks and have a nice day," and walked off. In later discussions with friends we were trying to decide if I should be flattered or creeped out, we decided on a compromise of both! Why couldn't have that been a crazy cute, smart, funny, rich cowboy? I don't think I ask for too much?

Easter was a great weekend! Busy, so it fit perfectly into my schedule! Went home Friday night just in time for the Good Friday service with my parents and Grandma. Then we went to Dairy Queen afterwards, which is always yummy :) Saturday morning mom and I hit the stores bright and early and I got some cute dresses to wear on campus now that the weather is all nice and springy :) Saturday afternoon was a bridal shower for one of my friends at Wesley, which was way fun, even though I didn't know very people there it was exciting because she's getting married and all that bride/wedding stuff is always exciting :) Saturday afternoon/evening was my first of two Easter dinners with my aunt and uncle, grandma, parents and then a family friend who I consider an aunt as well. Then, mom and I topped off Saturday by watching the late showing of "How to train your dragon," which was AWESOME! Phew, and we're not even to Easter Sunday yet folks! Obviously church in the morning which was an awesome service. Very high-church, the sanctuary was all decked out and packed! Just a really cool vibe. Then it was nap time before meeting my brother and Eva in Indy from their way back from Eva's home in Illinois. We ate at Olive Garden (YUMMY) and then I made my way back to Purdue just in time for a few really awesome games of Ultimate Frisbee with my Wesley friends! So again, Easter weekend was pretty awesome!

Well, I hope y'all feel special that I set aside some very important time to update y'all. But in all honesty, my class is about to start and I get my grade back from a major paper that I wrote, so keep your fingers crossed for me please :)

Happy Friday,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Watching Airplanes

Blogging from the airport once again! I am writing from probably one of my favorite airports- Denver International Airport! I don't know what it is about this place, because it is a huge airport and I'm not one for crowds, but I just like the feel of it and the people movers are always fun!

Well, I'm on my way back to Indiana from Amarillo from Spring Break. Kind of a bummer to be leaving again. Amarillo is definitely a place where I could call home and will definitely be in the job search mix next Fall!

My week consisted of watching movies, hanging out with friends, riding horses up and down the road and two-stepping!!!!!! Oh my gosh, words can not describe how awesome it was to be back on the dance floor! lol! I heard from several of my Texas friends that I could fit in just fine down there and wondered if Texans and Hoosiers were alike, and I warned them most likely they weren't. I know I was born to the right family, I love them to death, but sometimes question my state of origin.

We had some crazy weather. It snowed like 3 to 5 inches Friday night into Saturday. Literally white-out conditions. I was glad that I wasn't driving so I could sit there and close my eyes and bite my fingernails off. It was kind of scary but my friend Cheyenne and then Alan drove their big, bad trucks through it all just fine!

I think the greatest thing accomplished this week was just an overall ego boost actually. I don't mean to sound conceded but whenever you're around people that appreciate you and make you feel very welcomed and loved, it does a lot for your self- worth. I can't express my appreciation enough for everyone down here and how I feel about them all.

I even got some sun this weekend. Besides our snow we had some good days with highs up in the 70's. Between riding and talking with Cheyenne and just being outside, I have a nice toasty red color to me :) Hopefully it'll fade into tan, hopefully.

I'm heading back to a busy week at Purdue. Nearly Naked Mile, Speech, advising meeting, then a paper and project coming due soon. It's all guns a-firing until the end of the semester and then I'm starting right away with Deere. I definitely need weeks like this past one in order to catch my breath. So back to busy, busy life, but with a refreshed attitude.

Oh-ya. Being in Texas made the Purdue win over Texas A&M that much sweeter! Everyone counted us out after Hummel went down, but we're going to the Sweet 16! That is about the only thing that makes me happy about this season of March Madness as my bracket is totally busted, thanks to Northern Iowa! And then the other unforeseen upsets. So my motto through the rest of the tournament is BOILER UP!!!!!!!!!

Oh and my comment on the healthcare reform- I'm leery, scared and concerned. I agree that something needed to be done, but this is going to be one huge mess! All we can do is pray and trust in God's plan in all of this and know that He will make the best possible outcome!

Amarillo by morning, Purdue by night!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Break

Spring Break could not come soon enough! These last couple of weeks have been pretty rough with school work, so I'm definitely ready for a break. I mean, 4 midterms in one week plus grading another one and then various assignments due, I'm still suffering from a lack of sleep.

BUT- I'm less than 12 hours away from getting on a plane headed to TEXAS! Amarillo to be more precise! "Amarillo by morning" to see those "Amarillo skies"! It's been right at a year since my internship with AQHA and I'm so excited to get back down there!

I can't believe how time flies. I know I've talked about this before, but I can not believe the many blessings and opportunities I've had this past year. And now, my semester at Purdue is over half-way done with- CRaZyneSS!!!!!

So my time in Texas is going to be spent relaxing, running, riding, watching the tourney, catching up with friends and two-stepping! I'm not excited at all - lol! And that my friends was sarcasm, the simplest form of irony (we learned about that in my COM 204 class, good thing I was already a master of it).

Grades so far have come in good. I have all A's and a high B in my six classes. My big Com class, I'm one of 19 A's out of 175 students and then my Ag Econ class, I'm one of ten A's out of about 100 students. So ya, I think I fell back into the swing of things pretty well :)

Alright, I don't feel so bad now that I've given my blog some attention after neglecting it for a few weeks. I'm going to find me a bracket and fill it out and spend some time with the rents before I head for bed. I have a big day tomorrow, with a side-trip to Vegas before I go to Amarillo :) aka - I have a layover in Vegas. Fooled the parents with that one, it was pretty funny!

Boiler Up!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yee-ha, it's the Boilermaker Ball!

Friday night was the 3rd annual Boilermaker Ball. As a member of PASE BoD, I had duties to fulfill at the event. The primary duty of all of us BoD members was to be a bid runner during the silent auction. Sounds easy, NOT! Not when you have two tables to cover, bidding on 12 items and then winning 9. They didn't call us bid 'runners' for nothing, that's for sure.

Of course I was doing this in boots, chaps, horse show shirt and a cowboy hat. Sounds strange, I know, especially when the room is filled with Purdue University Trustee Board members, past Purdue Presidents and several other high-rollers who are big-time donors to Purdue Alumni. But, this year's theme was "Get on your boots," which allowed for the outfit.

My friend Jenna and I were two of the three 'wranglers' they had for the evening where were basically told to mingle among the guest, make sure they knew what was going on and then 'herd' them to their dinner tables when it was time to serve. While there were quite a lot of people there that got into the western theme, it was still a very formal, black-tie event at the Indianapolis Ballroom. So wearing the hat and all felt kind of weird, especially walking through the hotel to get to the ballroom, but actually, there were a lot of people who loved our outfits.

Jenna and I got to hang around Purdue Pete and help with the pictures too, which is always fun. Pete is a very flirtatious fella, but looked good in his formal attire. There are some recent pictures on facebook if you want to check them out :)

All in all, it was a successful evening and I got to network with some individuals that I'll be looking at applying to for a job when I graduate and the President of the Board of Trustees remembered me from the Mortar Board Leadership Conference. I was pretty excited about that :)

Hail Purdue!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Genesis in Today's Terms

I'm the student leader for Disciple Bible Study at the Wesley Foundation. This is a huge commitment, with daily Bible readings, a weekly planning meeting and then a 2-hour class once a week! But I'm really enjoying it!

This past week was a lot of reading as we covered pretty much the last 2/3 of Genesis. While reading all the 'familiar' stories of Abraham, Issac, Jacob and his sons, including Joseph, I found myself picking out some little tid-bits that I didn't know before. So it was good to actually read them all the way through for myself instead of relying on those children book versions for all my factual and intellectual insight to those stories :)

Anyways, we got to do a little monologue about a character and let's just say things got interesting. I was Leah's servant, who had like 2 or 3 of Jabob's sons herself. Obviously, a sports theme found its way out of us as we were keeping 'score' of this baby race. But the funniest quote of the night came when Leah came back into the baby race for herself after having Jacob's first 4 sons, she then had his 9th and 10th. So then one of the students said, "Leah pulled a Brett Farve and had Issachar and Zubulan!" Needless to say, we laughed, a lot!

This is a great class and I love, love, love all of the people in the class as we grow together through the B-I-B-L-E! :)

Oh- random, but props to the female Canadian figure skater who skated beautifully after suddenly loosing her mother a few days ago.

Night y'all!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I am now the proud owner of a new phone (well, reasonably new) and a new computer. I should get one of those 'house divided' vanity license plates and put it on my car as I am now a PC and Mac owner. Really, I see them all as just computers. I think my brother is more excited about my new computer than I am. Now the reasoning behind this investment: my HP had to be wiped for its third time during its lifetime, so it was just becoming slightly undependable, and my brother is my first go-to computer help guy and he's in love with Macs as in watches 'how to' videos for fun about Macs- dork, nerd, whatever you wanna call him. So I figured I'd get over the 'Mac learning curve,' with just a little practice and hopefully end up with a more reliable machine in the long run :)

As far as the phone goes, I got the Samsung Rogue and I really like it so far. I wanted to make the step-up to a Droid or a Blackberry, but the data package on those phones are just too much and kinda silly. But I can check my email on my phone which is awesome and I love the full keyboard :)

So ya, I think it's cool and all to have new toys, especially in a society that gets crazy excited about the new iPod or iPad and all. But, they are all really just pieces of plastic, metal and glass on the inside.

With all of that - my name is Britt and I'm a Mac and a PC.

Friday, February 5, 2010

To Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad,
So recently I've been homesick. Funny, right, I know but true. I think it might be that I'm finally so close, but yet I still have to get in my car and drive 2 hours (average depending on which way I want to go), to get home. Also, being back at Purdue, I'm under a lot more pressure and stress with the load of school work and extra-circulars I've got going. One would think that I would be more stressed out in a foreign country about school, but wrong again because I let myself embrace one of the major 'must-does' while studying abroad, and that is to allow yourself the opportunity to learn as much as you can outside of the classroom about the culture that you are in. Being back at Purdue, it is natural that this stress has come around, but it makes me think of how nice it is to go home as that typically means laying on the couch and watching tv with you guys and snuggling up in my bed with my dogs and attempting to sleep in.

Between being homesick and my recent speech assignment in my speech class, I have come to realize yet again how awesome you two are! My entertainment speech topic was giving a toast to both at you at your upcoming 35th wedding anniversary. The point of an entertainment speech is to be light-hearted and funny, but still get a sentimental point across to leave your audience with that warm-fuzzy feeling inside. A majority of the class gave wedding toasts and there were a few award presentations/ acceptances, but I couldn't think of a better topic than to toast to the two of you.

My speech talked about how unlikely it seemed on the surface the two of you were for each other, pointing out your differences but exemplified you as always keeping Christ in the center of their marriage, and being an awesome model to both my brother and me. The stories came out about dad taking mom to White Castle, football games and other 'classy' fast-food places on your first few dates. How dad blew the straw-wrappers at my mom, (yay for teenage-flirting tactics being pulled off by young professionals!), also came out. But somehow dad won you over mom, and needless to say, I'm glad he did.

35 years is a long time! I mean, you guys were married in the middle of the 70's! My closest connection to that decade is from watching Austin Powers. I know that you two have had your rough times like when dad attempted to put ketchup on your eggs mom. The divorce papers just about came out after that one, just kidding, but thank you for working through those rough spots and for embracing the good times and for just being awesome parents! I rarely heard the word 'no,' as you encouraged me in almost all of my endeavors, so when I did hear 'no,' I knew it was for a good reason. You made my childhood dream come true of becoming involved with horses and as I hope to have a career within that industry, I can not thank you enough for fostering that love and passion from an early age. And dad, I know it seems I'm picking on you a lot in all of this, but thanks for all of the hours in the saddle you've put in with me. Horses are very different than cows you had growing up and not too many men would dive into the world of horses the way you did, and I know it was out of love for me.

So again, here's to you mom and dad- I love you both with all of my heart and honestly can not imagine my life without the two of you :) Muah, and I hope this snowstorm doesn't keep me from coming home this weekend.

Love always,

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Leadership with Open Eyes

Today was the Motar Board Leadership Conference, or MBLC. First off, I'd like to make a confession, as I have never actually attended it before and this was my first time and I was working it. Anyways, it was great!

I was one of the speaker hosts for Dr. Paul Robinson who is a joint professor in both the Engineering College and the School of Veterinary Medicine here at Purdue. His topic was about setting goals and then how to achieve them. He was a great speaker with an awesome Australian accent, which was sweet and reminded me of my Australian friends I made in Ireland.

But here is where the title of my blog comes into play. Originally, Robinson spoke of an initial goal or 'task' that he was confident he could accomplish - creating a low-tech, low-cost diagnostic technology for HIV/AIDS testing in Africa. Half of the problem is detection. He talked about how he pounded away at it for over a year with not much success, so he sat back and reevaluated and decided to climb Mt. Everest instead, as in 20,930ish meters high, ya, that Mt. Everest, to raise awareness of his original goal.

He had great tips on persevering, taking it one step at a time, relying on your team and learning from your failures. But what I saw in him personally at the end of his talk and being able to have some one-on-one time with him was his overall attitude and charisma. Now, I did not know Paul before he climbed the mountain, but he even confessed to being a different person after climbing the mountain. And that overall joy and exuberance just flooded out of him. And now he has returned to his original task with a different mindset about it.

Now, I didn't climb Mt. Everest, but I really see this past year as my 'Everest.' I have come back a much more relaxed and confident person. Recognizing and relying in my capabilities in order to get a task done and just to live my life in a better way on a day to day basis.

At the afternoon closing session Keith Krach spoke, who is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Purdue University. You have to google this guy! His accomplishments in the business world are ridiculous! He was an amazing speaker, my favorite of the day. There were three keys that I took away from his talk and the first was the fact that he placed values right underneath vision when developing yourself and your leadership characteristics and goals. The second point that I liked in his talk was that he described his father as the best leader that he has ever known because he was someone that everybody liked to be around. Lastly, he talked about his junior high basketball days when trying to figure out why his teammate always had more points than him. After watching game footage, he realized it was what his teammate was doing when he didn't have the ball that put him in great position to be successful. What are you doing when you don't have the ball?

So between these two speakers, I got some great advice about leadership and really just how to live my own personal life. Even though the day started out early for me, I managed to keep my eyes open and now have a slightly different perspective on what leadership is and how I can apply that to my life.

I hope y'all are having a great weekend and that my friends down in Texas are staying safe and warm with all of the snow y'all have down there :)


Friday, January 22, 2010

Keys- not where they're supposed to be!

Two weeks of classes are almost in the books for me. Sorry for not being more consistent on here, my computer decided to crap out on me and I have now had my hard drive wiped 3 TIMES! Not a happy camper with the whole Purdue/ HP situation. Good news is that I'm starting to shop for a new laptop! I'm getting mixed reviews on what to get though- so any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Classes are great! I really like them this semester- even the one that I thought was going to be annoying, AGR 201 "Communicating Across Cultures." I don't know, I was under the impression that after taking ag classes in a foreign country for a semester would cover all the 'diversity' experience that I would need for my degree. But apparently not. On the bright side, talking about issues such as gender, race, sexual preferences, religion and disabilities with a bunch of Indiana farm kids and a confident African-American professor will offer some amusement at least twice a week.

Other classes are my 3 communications classes. Advanced Public Speaking (which I just gave my first speech, felt really good about it!), Writing for the Mass Media and Communication Theory. I have to actually 'read' the AP Style book and take quizzes over it. Seriously it is like trying to read the dictionary!

Then come my last two classes- an ag econ management class and horse evaluation. It's hard to say that these are my favorites, but anytime I feel like I don't have to study for a quiz and still do a good job on it- I like that class, which is what happened in my horse class yesterday over the parts of the horse. I really like my professor for the management class. I admire him for his witness as he started the very first day of class telling us a little bit about himself, his first words were, "I'm a Christian and if you are looking for a good Christian home/ home church here in Lafayette, I can help you find one." How awesome is that?

So my biggest 'oops' I've had in awhile is locking my keys in the car last night. Some friends and I went out to the Cactus and I was the DD. I didn't want to carry in a purse, so I took my car keys off the rest of my keys and put my money, ID's and phone in my pockets when I went in. After I dropped everyone off, I was reassembling everything and grabbed my lanyard thinking I had just grabbed all my keys and locked the car with the door lock like I always do. I got to the top of the stairs, thought that my key chain was a little thin and realized what I had just done, but didn't want to do anything about it cuz it was late. Spare set you ask? Ya, in the armrest of my car. I know, not a very smart place to put it, but with all of my moves and such, they just never made it to an actual usable location. So looks like I'm calling AAA later today or hitching a ride home with someone tonight or tomorrow, as those were my weekend plans. Ben and Eva are coming up, so it'll be nice to have everyone together. Now let's just hope that I can get there :)


Friday, January 15, 2010


So a quick update that is much overdue again- sorry. Didn't know if y'all would still be interested in my life now that I'm just a college kid back at school.

I got everything moved back to Purdue safe and sound and before the big snow hit last week. Campus is absolutely beautiful with all of the snow! Sad to say that it is slowly melting away which creates slush and puddles to be avoided while walking to classes.

My apartment: I LOVE IT!!! Lots of room and my roomie is super cool. Good location, reasonable rent- can't ask for much more :)
Wesley: Awesome seeing all the old friends and meeting the newbies- I can't believe how much Wesley has changed and grown :)
Classes: Actually ROCK! I'm taking 3 COM classes- Advanced public speaking, writing for the mass media and communication theory. Then for my Ag classes I have an Agribusiness management class with a way cool prof, multicultural understanding (lame considering I've spent four months in another country) and horse evaluation! So, yes, it's going to be a difficult semester- I'm loving it so far :)

You'll notice the use of a lot of smiley faces- well that's because I'm super happy! There are a lot of awesome things going on around campus and in my life and God has started to make some things more clear for me. But man, am I tired! This whole going to class thing and working out is exhausting stuff! My sister-in-law, Eva, wants me to run a half marathon with her in Louisville in April, so that's my new challenge to shoot for. Plus buying new clothes after you loose weight is way fun!

Mom is here for part of the day. She came over for the Wesley Board meeting last night and stayed the night. I have class until 11:30, then we're going out to lunch and grocery shopping and then saying goodbye. It's nice having her around, I just felt bad because we were both soooo tired last night and I had reading to do for speech class about how to be a good listener! Yay, I feel like I'm back in 3rd grade! But I got a 5 out of 5 on my quiz- so worth it I suppose!

I have a feeling that there will be some good blogging material that comes out of my "Communicating Across Cultures" class. Imagine a bunch of conservative, Indiana, farm kids talking about issues such as race, religion, gender and sexual identity issues. Should be somewhat amusing at least. I already asked a guy to prove the statement "Males are biologically better leaders than females," after he agreed with the statement that the teacher gave out as a possible "trigger phrase." It was all light-hearted, fun- but I'm not afraid to throw what little weight I have in there :)

Alright... time to find my classroom for my last class of the day then I'm hanging with my mommio! :)

Boiler Up!