EducationSkills

The fall semester looms near. Did your pack your things? Make your schedule? Say goodbye to your summer flip flops? The end of August is a time of change, and for some students, this may mean starting a part­-time job for the first time. Now, I know it’s hectic to move into your dorm, prep for classes, and adjust to the back-­to-­school mentality, but now is the time to start hunting for part-­time jobs for the fall semester.

Here are four things to keep in mind:

1. School vs. Job

School comes first. But your job pays for school. But school comes first. This has gone through your head before, hasn’t it? If you’re like me, you work part-time during the semester to pay for textbooks, supplies, and tuition. Some students pay for their groceries and bills and rent. Whatever your situation, it’s important to understand your own limit and be able to balance that midterm paper on ancient Greek epics or the midnight shift in the student labs.

Everybody has their own pace. Some students may find the workload heavy, especially if they’re new students or thesis-­stressed seniors. Consider these things when you’re deciding if you want to work or not.

2. Paperwork

Since you’re working, you might want to get some things together. Before leaving mom or dad, get your personal information from them. Many jobs require identification, so get a state ID or an unexpired driver’s license from the DMV. At the end of the year, you’ll get some papers about taxes, which you might give to your parents so they can file their taxes. Don’t throw these papers out or lose them! You should provide accurate data because that tax info is the same info you’ll need for your FASFA (that sounds familiar right?). When in doubt, keep it, and ask your university’s finance or career office.

3. Where To Work

In the school library? In the labs? In the bakery, the clothing store, the modeling agency? Things to consider about your job is how it would work with your schedule. Because colleges can have pretty irregular hours, it may be hard to find someone who would take you from 3­-9pm one day, and 7am-­4pm the next. Keep in mind that university jobs tend to go to students who are in financial need, and departmental jobs look for students who are reliable in their major and may not depend on financial need. For example, I don’t get first dibs at the library, but I managed to find work in the photography lab. See the difference? Find what suits you, and don’t be afraid to ask around your school. Jobs as an assistant, teacher’s assistant, archivist, or anything else may be found in unexpected places.

4. Start Hunting!

Since people are going back to school, they’ll be quitting their jobs. Someone going from New York to California may drop one job in the Big Apple only to pick up another job in San Diego. Imagine all of the college students who are doing this (possibly including you!). The next few weeks are the perfect time to find jobs, especially in school (since the semester is starting again).

Each semester is a chance for a new beginning, to try something new or to redo something from before. Getting a job may be scary and stressful, but you’ll never know what you’ll get if you don’t try! Good luck!

Image: Tobias Mikkelsen, Flickr

CultureTravel

Pride parades happen all over the world these days. However, same sex marriage is not legal in all states which is why these parades are so important. It is not just the LGBT community who go to these things. There are families there. Elderly people and babies are all in attendance with admittedly some of the most flamboyant and fabulous people you ever did meet. It’s a gathering for a lot of people to come together and it has a lot to offer.
Here is a look at my San Francisco Pride Parade travel diary:
SF 5
8:30: I had to leave early. The parade started at 10:30 a.m. We decided to get off the road and take the BART because the city is hard to drive through in the best of times, let alone during a big event like Pride.
SF 2
11:30: At this time we finally made it to San Francisco. The parade watchers were five people deep. We could see a little from over their heads.
SF 3
12:00: By noon, with the parade forgotten from our vantage point, we went looking around. There is a lot of shopping to do. There aren’t just novelty items but clothes, jewelry, and more substantial things like insurance or cable.
SF 6
12:24: The Shake It! Booty Band played. They were one of many bands who performed that day to the crowds walking around or eating lunch in front of the Civic Center building.
SF 5
1:00: Eventually we had to eat. There was food from all over the world served.One of the last little known facts about parades is the free giveaways. There are always some every year. Some of what I came away with include this Orange Is The New Black poster, a Burger King crown, and sunblock.
SF 1
Along with the glitz, I think it is about the people. Companies have booths promoting their wears to all kinds. Politics and funding for charity causes are available alongside them. There are several areas where people just dance. With all the gimmicks and all the craziness, people from all demographics gather to this event that is all inclusive to everyone. In a way, it is not the pride parade but a parade and fun for the whole family. Everyone belongs somewhere.

 

CultureEducationTravel

Backpacking through the Trinity Alps, kayaking down the Salmon River, conversing with local school children in rural Chile…these experiences are just the norm at the Alzar School.  And Elena Press, a sophomore at Upper Dublin High School, located outside of Philadelphia, was one of just ten participants in its Fall 2013 session.  From mid-August through the end of December, Elena attended the fully accredited semester school, partaking in the schools “Six Foundations:” leadership training, academics, outdoor adventure, service learning, cultural exchange, and environmental stewardship.  The school, based on a 100-acre campus in Cascade, Idaho, is for motivated sophomore and junior students.  Students participate in significant outdoor expeditions, learning to whitewater kayak, backpack, rock climb, surf, ski, snowshoe, and more. Its academics are challenging, all honors and Advanced Placement, and the leadership opportunities that are provided are what Elena describes as “once-in-a-lifetime.” But these high level courses are distinctly different from those familiar to a traditional high school. The Alzar School emphasizes critical analysis, creative thinking, and effective communication, while using its unique resources to provide a vast variety of hands-on experiences for its students.

Elena Press elaborates:

Before beginning the process, I was hesitant to depart my highly regarded high school, as well as the town I had lived in my whole life.  Leaving behind friends, family, school, clubs, and activities would be an immense sacrifice. Of most concern, since I was missing a semester of my customary education, was how this would impact my future?  A typical worry of many teenagers is college.  Many students, including me, wonder: What classes should I take?  How can I earn the best grades?  Should I get more involved in my community and service projects?  How many awards can I receive in my high school years?  Yet colleges love seeing students partake in unique activities and take risks, two items surely fulfilled by an experience at the Alzar School!

A frequent activity of the students at the Alzar School is kayaking. Students kayak in Idaho, Oregon, California and Chile, providing many opportunities for a first-time kayaker, like me, to increase their knowledge of this riveting sport. I vividly remember staring with wide eyes and quaking in fear as I gingerly paddled in my kayak, mortified at the prospect of going down Snow Hole, a Class IV rapid. My instructors insured me that I was capable and reviewed the line with me multiple times. Then, I went down. I did it! And I flipped over and swam out. Consequently, I discovered that kayaking is absolutely thrilling; you can choose to challenge yourself however much you desire. The uncertainty of being under the water’s influence taught me to push myself, but kayaking is all about community; my friends and I learned many lessons from each other, and constantly supported and cheered one another on, whether doing a flip in the air, or leading down a rapid for the first time.  This is one of the reasons why the Alzar School integrates a large amount of kayaking into the students’ time.  The school considers it a great medium for empowering young leaders.

Of the five months spent at the Alzar School, students spend two weeks traveling through the Northwest, six weeks in Chile, and the remainder of the time in Idaho.  When traveling to Chile, students fully immerse themselves in the culture, vastly improving their Spanish skills by participating in a homestay program, attending a Chilean school and conversing with locals. By traveling through Chile, I discovered that smiles and laughter can break even the strongest barriers of age, language, and culture. The traveling opportunities are not presented purely to allow the students to experience new places, but to open their hearts and minds to other parts of the world, and an unknown culture.  All these contribute to the ultimate goal…to empower and teach young individuals to become leaders in our world today.

Throughout the semester, I learned to plan and lead expeditions and service projects. Alumni continue to develop the leadership skills they acquired from their time at the Alzar School by creating a Culminating Leadership Project to make a difference in their home communities and the world.  The goal of my CLP, Girls Outdoor, is to foster an appreciation of the environment by exposing young girls to the outdoors.  I’m planning and taking 19 Girl Scouts on a three day camping trip. This will involve, among other things, teaching them Leave No Trace principles, risk management, and camping planning.

My semester at the Alzar School was the peak of my high school career and a highlight of my life. The greatest benefits that I acquired from the experience were figuring out who I am as a person and becoming confident in that person, while gaining a support group of the most incredible lifelong friends and mentors from all over the world. From chopping wood, to teaching Chilean kids how to kayak, I’ve never had more fun doing anything. I overcame limits, fell a lot and laughed even more, and found out quite a bit about myself in the process. I wish that every high school student could partake in an experience like the Alzar School offered me.

 Elena encourages anyone who is interested in the Alzar School to check it out.  For more information, visit www.alzarschool.org

SpotlightYouth Spotlight

You’ve already met the manager and lead singer of Dizzy Bats, Connor Frost. Now it’s time to meet the drummer, Eric Segerstrom. While being Dizzy Bats’s drummer, Eric also attends Juilliard in New York City. Eric realized his passion for music at an early age and has pursued it relentlessly. Dizzy Bats has some exciting things happening in the next couple of months, including the music video release of their most recent single, Girls, which premieres today (check it out HERE)! Until then, let’s get to know some more about Eric… 

When did you join Dizzy Bats?
I joined Dizzy Bats in the fall of 2012, in September or October.

How do you contribute to the songwriting or music composition process?
Usually Connor will bring in songs that he’s written and I’ll come up with beats that I think would fit well. Then we go back and forth changing small things in both the song and the drum part until it’s somewhere where all of us like it.

What has been your favorite tour moment?
Although I’ve only been on one tour with DB, my favorite moment might’ve been when one of our shows got cancelled and we spent the whole day playing Star Wars monopoly, hah.

When did you realize you wanted to do music professionally?
Sometime in high school when I noticed that that’s really all I enjoyed doing/was good at doing.

Erik

What is your favorite Dizzy Bats song to play live?
Connor just wrote a song that’s super pop-punky and really loud and fast. I think we’re playing it on our next show, and its just a minute and a half of D-beat fun.

What is your pre-show ritual?
Hm, I don’t really think I have a “ritual.” I guess I try to stretch and tune all the drums before every show, so maybe that counts as a ritual?

How do you combat stage fright?
There’s this class I’ve had to take at college called Ear Training, and every week you have to get up infront of the class and do some form of recitation, which is anything from singing atonal melodies to performing insane rhythmic exercises. Having to do this every week for every year at school has kind of numbed me to performing in front of people. If I can mess up singing an interval in front of a class and get past it, I think I can mess up anything in front of a crowd and get past it.

 How many hours a day do you practice?
No where near enough.

Any tips for learning how to play an instrument?
Lessons can be great, but if you don’t click with your teacher, they can actually be detrimental. You do you and if you really want to, find someone who will help you do exactly what you want to do.

How has your experience at Juilliard influenced your work with Dizzy Bats?
Not very much. I’m at school for music composition, so all of my drumming stuff is just on the side.

Erik 2

Girls

EducationSkillsTravel

Friends, I’ll start out by saying that this tour, my fifth trip in two years, was no doubt the best and most rewarding.  The hard work that we’ve put in over the last thirty six months is truly starting to pay off, and it’s all very exciting.  I feel very proud and fortunate to be a part of this project.

3/12-3/15:  LA
The purpose of this LA trip was two-fold:  to play a show and shoot a music video.  The latter was a total blast and was the first time I personally have had a hand in the production process of a video.  We shot at various locations in Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica, and was culminated by the “Santa Monica Pier Police” shutting us down. Rock.

 tour post 1
3/16-3/18:  Bay Area
The show at Hotel Utah in SF was no doubt one of the most incredible performance experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of, as friends, family, and fans all came out to support.  It was such a special night.  Shout out to local artist Matt Jaffe and his band, Matt Jaffe and the Distractions, for headlining and being great dudes.  The days were spent in my buddy’s backyard lounging and writing music.  Two-thirds of an EP written.

 

tour post 2
3/19-3/22:  Pacific Northwest
The show in Portland, OR at Shaker and Vine was a very weird but cool bill.  Local act, Rainstick Cowbell, who has toured the world extensively, headlined the night and could not have been more generous and welcoming.  Our show in Salem, OR was filled with people who were legitimately happy to have us, and their kindness, while refreshing, also freaked me out a bit.  I spent the day food truck-hopping in Portland. Washington is a beautiful state.  I spent some time in Seattle eating amazing Chinese food and strangely getting into Gonzaga basketball.  Our show at Cafe Racer w/ Jacob Cummings and The Experience was a perfect way to end this trip.
tour post 3
Huge thank yous all around to those who fed me, clothed me, and provided me with a towel.  I am so lucky. Thanks again.

-Connor

SpotlightYouth Spotlight

There aren’t a lot of twenty-one-year-olds who can say that they’ve found their life’s passion. But luckily Carpe had the opportunity to sit down over a plate of pancakes with with somebody who knows exactly what gets them up in the morning. Meet Alex Kummert, currently a Communication student at Saint Mary’s College of California, and comedian at heart and on stage. As a young and upcoming performer, Alex had a lot to share with us about mixing pursuit with practicality and never giving up on a good thing. From his first 2011 TedX talk to an ongoing Podcast he shares with his Grandma, Alex inspires us to get up off the couch and pursue our passion!

Name: Alex Kummert
Age: 21
Education: Communication student at Saint Mary’s College of California
Follow: Twitter | Website | YouTube

How would you define seizing your youth?

Seizing your youth is the understanding that while our life is a tangible thing, our youth is even more so. Seizing your youth is pursuing your passions in life with no regard for what you are expected to be doing at your age. It’s seizing the opportunity of time and passion, and furthering progress towards achieving goals while still getting to understand the world around you.

When did you begin with comedy?

The first time I did standup was when I was 14, I was at church camp, and I did it on a dare for the talent show. I wasn’t that funny but I was funny enough that I wanted to keep doing it. I only started taking it seriously around 16 or 17, and from 16 on I’ve been doing it very consistently. At this point – six years later – I’m performing almost once a week, so it has been pretty heavily engrained into my daily life.

How do you come up with material?

Material can come from anywhere. I’ve never been one to sit down and decide to write jokes for an hour. It’s something that just kind of comes to me and I think “Oh that could work, that could be a joke,” and then I sit down and I write the whole thing long form. It’s about being in a mind set than necessarily having to block out time to do it. I’m a much more free-range sort of thinker when it comes to jokes. I pull material from my life and daily occurrences, and sometimes from conversations I have with my friends.

Did you ever have stage fright and how did you over come it?

I had stage fright when I was younger but not in comedy – I did a lot of theater when I was a kid. That’s where the performance bug came from. I had stage fright then, and its kind of been “cured” now. I’m a little nervous when I go up onstage and before shows I’m kind of a wreck and I have a lot of butterflies because I just want to do it. But stage fright isn’t something I’ve had an issue with in my comedy experiences because of that past theater experience.  In terms of how to get over stage fright, I would say allow yourself to have fun. Don’t allow that experience to become stressful because the people that are in the audience are usually there to have fun.

What advice would you give to yourself right before your first day of college?

Leave the things that you thought were important home behind. Allow yourself to get involved in your new community and immediately ease in the new lifestyle rather than letting the things at home eat away at you or affect what you do. Explore and make more mistakes. Allow yourself to make mistakes. That something I didn’t let myself do early on but valued so highly when I went to college. There were so many things at home that I was worried about and they really didn’t matter.

c

You have a podcast with your Grandma called “Lazy Susan” – where did that come from and can you tell me about it?

It all started from a love of Chinese food, which came from my grandmother. My grandma was born in Shanghai, spent a lot of her life there, and still very heavily identifies with that culture. The podcast idea was something I had been kicking around for a while but I didn’t know what I wanted it to be, and then it just sort of opened up [to do this with] my grandmother. To me, my grandmother is the funniest person I know and it’s going to be very hard for someone to top her in my mind. I knew that people on the Internet would think she would be funny too, so that’s where it was inspired.

You also run a radio show at St. Mary’s. How has your informal work with the podcast helped you in a more professional setting?

In college radio you need to be able to improvise and think on the fly very quickly. With Lazy Susan it was about generating a conversation for 45 minutes to an hour every week, so I never felt super uncomfortable with that [impromptu work]. It’s actually allowed me to not have to be as professional because I know how to handle the things that a radio show will throw at you.

Has humor/comedy helped you in your daily life?

Definitely. 100%. Comedy gave me more of an identity. I don’t really know what I’m going to do what my life after I graduate, but I know something that I’m good at and something that I like to do. That reassurance has given me a lot more self-confidence in everything else I approach in life.

What about following a passion?

I would say that following that passion has allowed me to stay more grounded in what I want to do and it has allowed me to develop my own understanding of who I am. And even with the uncertainties in life I have something that is a foundation for when I go out into the unknown.

What advice would you give to someone who has not figured out what his or her passion is yet?

Don’t do things for the sake of finding the passion. It will find you the more that you experience life and are open to opportunities. It will become apparent what you want to do. That’s what happened to me, I just seized an opportunity. I didn’t automatically know “this is what my passion is,” it just developed that way.

What about someone who has discovered his or her passion?

To the person who has found their passion, I would say don’t lose it. Don’t associate your passion with money. That’s something that I struggle with also – you want your passion to be seen as a profession – and that’s great if that works out, pursue that, but don’t let the fact that it doesn’t become that disvalue what you do. It should be something that’s always going to be part of your life even if it’s not how you make money. That’s still what you should live for.

Where do you see yourself taking comedy in the future?

I also addressed this question in my TedX talk. Through the learning experiences I’ve had through pursuing comedy, the lessons I’ve learned will always affect me even if I’m not doing it anymore. Now I’ve had a couple of years where I’ve realized that ill always be doing this until I physically can’t. It might no be professionally, but it’s always going to be a part of my life.  The lessons I’ve learned are more about how I learn, and who I am as a person and how I understand the world.

Could you touch on your work with social media?

I got into social media not for comedy reasons, but the more I got involved and the more I started meeting people online the more I realized it’s a very powerful tool. It’s developed into something that is a very professional tool to me. And it’s opened up an incredible amount of doors to me that I probably wouldn’t have had access to before. That’s how I got on Good Morning America last year; it really was generated from a social media interaction. It allowed me to broaden my horizons personally and personally. I’ve seen nothing but positives in my social media interactions, and I highly recommend it for anyone.

What advice would you give to 15-year-old Alex?

Don’t take things so seriously. I was very over dramatic when I was younger and everything was important to me and I didn’t allow myself to have too much fun. I was wound up. I would tell 14, 15 year old me to relax and that the things that mattered then won’t necessarily matter now.