Tag Archives: criticalthinking

Year In Review Reflection

As an assignment for LDR200, we were asked to revisit your resolution post from 
January, specifically the four questions.

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1. Have you made progress towards these resolutions? Why or why not?
2. How have you grown as a leader since you arrived on campus in August 2014?
3. What have you learned about yourself as a leader?
4. What have you learned about working with others?
Now, I will answer these questions and tell you about my 2015 Spring semester at CMU. Let me tell you, it was one for the books! As I am writing this, it is my last week as a freshmen, my last week in Barnes hall, and my last week living with the best roommates ever. I am really sad, so I apologize if I am extra sappy in this blog post! lol.

1. Have you made progress towards these resolutions? Why or why not?

Although I wouldn’t say I was 100% successful in accomplishing my goals, I would say that I did a pretty job with making progress towards the resolutions. In my post back in January, I said that I wanted to get good grades second semester, stick to a more set schedule, get back to my normal weight, and meet more people. I think that I have done a really job with all of those, except for the weight one. This semester, as I got busier and busier, fitness was put on the back burner. Eating dorm food again, every day, did not help. I am very disappointed I let myself become like this, because I used to be very very active. This summer, I will have lot more time to just work my job, and work out. I am running a half marathon in october, so I will be training for that and having to stick to a workout and diet plan. Besides that resolution, I think that I did a really good job of studying and doing my homework. First semester was my adjustment period, where I learned what places I studied well in, and what places I would loose focus, and how to balance my time to do all my homework. I also had a lot of classes with people I knew, and was able to get help from them. I learned what kind of studying techniques also worked best for me, and I will be finishing the semester off with a lot better g.p.a. than first semester. So whoooo! for that!! I also think I did a really good job of writing in my calendar, which helped me balance my time and stick to a set schedule. With meeting people, I continued to form new connections with people through different activities and clubs. I met some really good friends when I was volunteering on Spring Break, with the alternative breaks program.

2. How have you grown as a leader since you arrived on campus in August 2014?

I think that I have learned a lot about how to facilitate and teach others. I was never trained in leadership like that back in high school. I would also say that I learned how to deal with difficult people, and not that I haven’t dealt with that before, but I have had some interesting situations this year with people in my program, and learned how to adjust to that. Sometimes people in life are just very selfish, judgmental, people, and they aren’t phased by treating people badly. They don’t feel guilty when they make fun of others, and they hate certain people for no specific reason. I learned how to deal with people like that this year.

3. What have you learned about yourself as a leader?

I learned from the Alpha Leadership Experience that I am a Considerate Leader. I want everyone to be happy and I often times think about everyone in a group setting. I am not the strongest at dictating people or having to be harsh with them. Considerate leaders tend to be very big on compassion and serving others. I also learned that I am good at adjusting to new things, but sometimes it just takes me a little while to figure it out. For example, I blindly excepted the nomination of fundraising chair for my sorority, and this semester has been a nightmare when it comes to that! I had no idea how to run a fundraiser at all, and was just given the simple directions of “Run the candle fundraiser, okay?” and I went into it not knowing how any of the operations worked. Well, I can tell you, I learned a lot having to deal with 97 girls and some of their families. It was a lot of stress having to cater to so many people, and with so many different opinions. Also, I am NOT a math person, and counting so many checks and cash, forms and candles really cave me a migraine. Now that it’s over though, I can say I grew as a person, learned a lot about organization, communication, and time management, learned that it’s okay to ask for help sometimes, and how to run a large fundraiser. And I made about $3,000 in profit for my chapter operations, can I get a booyaah!? Probably won’t be fundraising chair again, but nonetheless, I learned a lot about leadership.

4. What have you learned about working with others?

Like I said up above, I have learned a lot about dealing with difficult people. I also learned that compromise is very important when living with roommates and being so close to people every second of the day. Sometimes little things can irritate people, and you have to respect them enough to give them space, or just figure out a solution. Also, sometimes for things like group projects, when there are really strong, vocal personalities in the bunch, it’s best to just sit back and play peace maker, instead of trying to debate them. Things will go by a lot faster if you try and get everyone to voice their opinion, so that the one person who is very strong willed does’t control everything and get too bossy. Promote teamwork and respect!

And well, that is all folks! This year has been crazy fast! I learned an awful lot! I became a good student and very dedicated to my academics (yay!)! I had a lot of fun! I made amazing friendships that I’m incredibly sad to leave behind (my dorm family third floor tribe)! 2015 was great! Excited for summer and fall to roll around! Peace and blessings

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HISTORY110 Writing Intensive Leadership – Reflection

Well, well, well. Class reflections are not my favorite things to do, but today I am reflecting on our History110 (The American Experience) class with Professor Catherine Tobin. This course was definitely interesting, that’s for sure. Personally, I love history, and I like to write as well, so the fact that it was writing intensive didn’t bother me. I enjoyed learning about the great American leaders and how to relate their styles and tactics to modern leadership, and life. I think that Proff. Tobin could have presented the material in a more engaging, exciting way, but nonetheless, I still liked this class. Part of our final was another 10 page paper, joy right? I just turned it in this past week, and had a blast writing it. haha. Not really. But after a few all nighters, lots of coffee, and long hours of writing and editing my paper, it was done. I choose Martin Luther King as my leader to write about. I choose him because I thought I already knew a lot about him and it would be easy. What I would take away was not something that I expected though, and that would have to be my “So what? Now what?” (S/o to Jesi Parker) portion of this class.

Not only did I learn more random things about Martin Luther King Junior, some inspiring and motivating new things, but I learned a lot more about his weaknesses and insecurities. When I met with Tobin for her office hours, she really focused in on that I needed to dig deeper into those areas for my paper. No leader is perfect, and understanding a leaders struggles and insecurities is one of the best things to examine when looking at their leadership style. Martin Luther King Junior was not perfect, that’s for sure. He had many flaws. One thing that I really didn’t like looking into was the fact that he cheated on his wife. He was a big cheater. He had many affairs with other women. I didn’t like that, men that cheat have always been a red flag, marked off as disgusting pigs kind of stigma for me. But, I this made me think about it more, and just because MLK cheated, didn’t mean he wasn’t a good person. PEOPLE ARE NOT PERFECT. I had to remind myself that. It actually gave me a whole new light on looking at people that make mistakes like cheating. Recently I found out that one of my childhood role models, and youth pastor (of all people, of course!) had been extremely unfaithful to his wife, and treated her very badly. She had finally left him for good. I looked upon my old youth pastor with huge disappointment and disgust. But who am I to judge him? When I thought about it, every single sin is the same in God’s eyes. From murder, to a little white lie, to cheating on a test, to simply thinking a mean thought about someone. I couldn’t hate my youth pastor for doing that. No, it wasn’t a good thing, but I can’t hate him for it.

I started to think more and more about this, and realized that was why I was so often disappointed in the “leaders” I have looked up to. I discover a flaw, and then become very disappointed in them, and categorize them as no longer someone to look up to. I need to stop doing this. It is an unrealistic way of thinking, because every human being sins and make mistakes and some pretty freaking great leaders out there still mess up sometimes! MLK is a prime example. Thanks HIST110WI L and Prof. Tobin for an eye opening semester!

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The Alpha Leadership Experience

Alpha…LEAD!

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Alpha Leadership was a blast! Not only was it a blast, I got to develop my leadership skills through really cool activities. We did self assessments to figure out what our leadership styles were and learned how to effectively communicate and use those styles to our advantages. We had to step outside of our comfort zones (yaayy!). We got to meet really awesome new people! All together, I loved my six weeks of ALPHA! I learned that I am a considerate and spirited leader, and I need to work on further developing my direct and systematic skills.

PSYCH100L… AKA DISNEY SING ALONG W/ PROF. PRUETT

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Pschology…Where dreams come true…

Just kidding, but…

In my leadership psychology class, I learned many, many things. I learned that one of my LAS friends can swallow an entire water bottle in one gulp. I learned that another one could sing the part in Hakuna Matata, (“When I was a young warthog!!”) perfectly, the pitch was exactly on point to the movie Lion King. I learned that another one of my peers could interpretive dance, very well, and also that my psychology professor liked to interpretive dance as well! Especially to disney songs! I learned that my LAS cohort is crazy silly, and that if someone looses a bet to the game ‘chances are?’, they would actually carry out their punishment, like the time someone lost and carried an umbrella with them everywhere they went for the entire psychology class. I think that his fun attitude actually helped me learn. I mean yes, it could get out of hand sometimes and be somewhat distracting, but also in the other sense, I was usually pretty happy to go to psychology class. I mean Dr. Pruett is a saint, but actually, he is a really great, quirky, silly man. And besides that, psychology is a pretty interest topic. Learning how to apply leadership through understanding human behavior is very neat! And my class was fun, so it was just an all together win, win! The tests were a little challenging, and I had to write my first ever 15 page final exam paper, but beside that, it was overall a great experience! SO Hukuna Matata, No worries! In the jungle, the might jungle, the lion sleeps tonight! Under the sea, under the sea! When you wish upon a staarrr! Wandering free, wish I could be, part of that woorrrlllddd! Be our guest, be our guest! Let’s get dowwnn to business!

Okay, okay! Enough disney songs! But goodbye folks! Psych was fun! Peace.

Mentor/Mentee

I am so lucky!

Along with all of the other perks of being a Leadership Advancement Scholar at CMU, you receive a sophomore mentor to help you begin your college journey.

I cannot begin to describe how thankful I am to have received Megan McGillis as a mentor. Jumping into a school of 22,000 can be a little nerve racking, but Megan made my transition nothing but smooth. From answering all of my college questions, sending me sweet notes and presents, to taking me out to lunch when I was having a bad day, she was hands down an awesome mentor. Throughout the semester, we became very close and she always had my back. She is reliable, trustworthy, smart, hilarious, inspiring, beautiful and so much more. I am so lucky we got paired together!

Megan and I share so many of the same qualities, I find it a little strange how similar we are. Not only do we have a lot of the same beliefs, views and passions, but we have similar majors and share the same weird sense of humor. Megan has encouraged me to get involved on campus and to explore different student organizations, for example, she helped me to get involved with greek life. Next semester Megan and I are going through training to become apprentices and bible study leaders, together. Megan is not only a mentor, she is a best friend. I am glad my Leadership Advancement Scholarship (LAS) gave me an opportunity to get to know such an amazing person!

When you receive a mentor in LAS, you also receive a family tree. Megan once had a mentor, who has a mentor, and so on. Not only do I have an incredible mentor, but my family tree is out of this world! My G mentor, Janelle McLaughlin, and my GG mentor, Molly Macgillivray, are two of the best young women. As with Megan, I share many similarities and life goals. I think that they are very inspiring people. They have given me great advice and I have loved getting to know them as well. I like to think of them as older sisters.

Megan, Janelle and Molly are most definitely some of my role models, and I am thankful to have them as “family” and “mentors”.

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“Surround yourself with people who push you,

who challenge you

who make you laugh

who make you better

who make you happy”


Mentor/Mentee Retreat

Location: Eagle Village in Hersey, Michigan

Purpose: To grow in your leadership skills and build a meaningful relationship with your mentor and 2013/2014  LAS cohort.

I was extremely excited to get a weekend away from school! It was still the beginning of the semester, and I was still feeling overwhelmed with adjustments. Along with that, I got to bond with my awesome mentor and new LAS classmates.

About 80 Leadership Advancement Scholars arrived at Eagle Village on a Saturday morning. We did not all know each other. Half of the people there were new freshmen, like me. After that weekend of getting to know each other over playing survival games, doing ropes courses, sitting around a camp fire, and other bonding activities, we left as more of a family, and less of just a “cohort”.

The Leadership Institute at CMU, is very big on Meaningful Relationships. When school gets tough, I am glad to know that I have my leadership families to lean on.

Megan and I bonded over developing our leadership abilities. We completed a challenging high ropes course together. Along the way, we had to come up with new ways to go along the course, in which we had to depend on each other. When you are forced to completely trust another person, you are most likely to grow your relationship.

I really enjoyed getting to know some of the people in LAS that I had never talked to previously. Lauren Lyon and her mentor Cassie, were apart of Megan and I ‘s small group for the weekend. At one point, we had to complete a survival course, by carrying a sled, and we could not touch the ground. This silly activity improved our critical thinking and communication skills, and helped us to form relationships as well.

Eagle Village was a great time, not only to get away, but to build friendships and learn new things

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