Author Archives: Aya

Notes From the 6 Train: How to Survive the 12 Hour School-day

So I’m kind of a pro on this topic. Because I take 6 credits every semester, and only want to come to campus (at most 3 days a week, last semester it was 2) I usually end up having one day where I’m at campus for 12 hours, from 9 am to 9 pm. This is not my preferred schedule, but the class always seem to line up like this, so let me give you a play by play on how I survive, in case you ever find yourself in a similar position. This is particularly true for commuter students who have to travel long distances to come to campus.

1. First, and most importantly, I remind myself that I only come 2 or 3 days a week.

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2. Eat to win! I pack my lunch everyday, and it especially on these longs because going on and off campus to get food can be such a hassle, plus super expensive. You will need:
– A water bottle (gotta stay hydrated)
– A full lunch (full of protein, as you will need that energy to remain focused during your classes)
– Snacks! This one is pretty self explanatory.

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3. Use whatever time you’re not in class to your advantage. You won’t be in class during the entire time. I have 3 classes that are scheduled in 3 hour time blocks, but I have still about 3 hours in between to kill. During these breaks I get work done, get a massage or acupuncture at the health clinic (this does have to be scheduled in advanced though) or even take a free fitness to waken myself up (there are free classes at the gym at FIT.) Though, with this last option I obviously I don’t do a really sweat inducing workout. I would suggest yoga.

Other things you can doing your breaks:

– Work! On campus jobs or workstudy
– Take a nap. the commuter lounge was basically made for that

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4. Handle all of your on campus errands.
– Running to financial aid/ bursar’s office
– Go to a club meeting/ events held during common hours
– Go to a tutoring center/ visit a teacher’s office hours

I know that a 12 hour day seems daunting, but when you get home after such a productive day you feel good! Luckily, my 12 hour day is Thursday, and I have no classes on Friday so I either start my weekend early and go out OR go home and enjoy the well deserved, blissful rest.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From The 6 Train: Veggie Heavenly!

So I’m not sure if you all know but I am a vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat in four years. I know it can be a challenge for anyone, esp. vegetarians to get all the nutrients we need. This problem is increased in the winter we are unable to bask in he summer sun because our skin is unable to eat up all if that vitamin (double check the vitamin) that makes us happy. We also need the strongest immune system we can have in this crazy weather AND being super close corners with people (which happens much more often in the winter months) so our systems can fight any germs folks on the train pass along to us.

So I’ve created a brief list of vegan/vegetarian restaurants to check out if you’re in a time crunch and want some tasty vegan/ vegetarian dishes. Carnivores are welcome to experiment as well!

how cute!

how cute!

So my absolute most favorite vegan place in the city is Seasoned Vegan. Not only do they have vegan food, but also raw food (food that hasn’t been cooked as to retain all of it’s nutrients that it loses when it cooked), family owned and best of all, it’s affordable! This is a huge plus when it comes to food in NYC, ESPECIALLY vegan food. Plus, it’s Harlem, and is a good reason to go exploring outside of 27th St.

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The next place is much closer by. Terri’s is a great quick and fast vegetarian sandwich shop located on 23rd St. This place is also quite affordable (with a sandwich costing around $7-$8),they also vegan cupcakes, detox shakes a host of other quick foods if you’re running off (or late) to class.

yum!

yum!

This last place may seem a bit obvious… WHOLE FOODS! So, it’s definitely not the cheapest, but you can grab a quick a lunch (I usually head straight to the salad bar and grab some veggie sushi) and run back to campus since it’s only a 5 minute walk. What about you? Where do you go for your veggie delights?

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From the 6 Train: Classes Spring 15′

So I have to admit that I’m pretty exciting for my classes this semester. Actually, I’m always excited for my classes. I often feel apathetic before school starts and then I always get a bit amped. As an FIT student employee (a blogger, ambassador or blogger but not work-study unfortunately) we always get first priority registration! So, I am able to get the classes I want! Well, at least we get the time we want, when we register we usually don’t know who out professors are at the time of registration, which we all know is a major competent of classes, but I think I’ve wound up with some pretty good teachers. A few of the classes I towards in particular are my “Starting A Small Business” class and my “International Finance” Class.

Classes this semester will hopefully make my life like these guys in Breaking Bad

Classes this semester will hopefully make my life like these guys in Breaking Bad

Let me preface this by saying that math is certainly not my strong suit BUT I have a good professor who is extremely knowledgable, Christine Pomeranz, the chair of the International Trade & Marketing department, who worked in the international banking for twenty years & handled five BILLION dollars in accounts. Honestly, I’m hoping to get my personal finances straight in this class and get some helpful stock tips.

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I look forward to my Starting A Small Business class because I’ve considered starting a business before. My professor for this class has owned his own moderate-better coat manufacturing company for 30 years, so he has a plethora of experimental learning as well. He is all very passionate about his profession (and works from home, #lifegoals) During this class we create our own business. There are no tests or quizzes, because the tests in real life is whether or not your business succeeds. That, is the most important test of all.

What about you? What classes/ teachers/projects are you excited for?

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From The 6 Train: New Opportunities Alert!

I’m a tutor at the writing center now. Yay! It’s something I’ve thought about much in the past and finally applied this past semester. I will begin working at the beginning of February. I know we’ve discussed the tutor/writing centers before but I’ve done more research since being hired.

The FIT Writing Center holds monthly seminars that focuses on different elements to improve your writing (super exciting for someone whose a writing nerd such as I). The FIT Writing Center also participates in writing conferences that take place all over, last year they went to Disney World and the year before they went to Germany (and from what I hear it’s sponsored by FIT, that just means = free! But I have to do a bit more detective work about this.)

Also, it is a paid position on campus AND is more than minimum wage. And you’re only obligated to work 6 hours weekly (but you can work more if you want) and they are quite flexible about scheduling. So when thinking about a job, you might not need to look very far, maybe just over your shoulder or a few doors down!

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From the 6 Train: Last Week Hustle

My besties & I.

My besties & I.

So I totally forgot to write about what I did while home! I just went straight to business! I think I’ve mentioned before how I like going home because you realize how much you’ve grow. This visit highlighted this so much for me! I welcomed back old friends into my life and realized that my parents don’t bother me like they did when I was younger (maturity much?). I also held my annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Queer Women Potluck. It’s always such a pleasure to reconnect with commune with people that you’ve established relationships with. As you can see, we know how to have a party (photo booth and all).

Just observe how merry we all look!

Just observe how merry we all look!

Going home fed my soul and now I feel replenished and energized to begin the semester and even begin thinking about plans for summer.

If you all didn’t know it, now is the time to apply for many summer internships/ scholarships. It’s the last week of break and is the last amount of idle time. For many, once the semester begins life becomes a worldwhind.

I’ve already applied for the Time Inc. summer internship (wish me luck guys!) which is 10 paid week internship with one of the various Time Inc. brands (ranging from Essence to InStyle to Fortune and a bunch of other well known brands.)

Now is the perfect time to begin scouring the FIT internship bank before you begin drowning in schoolwork and tests.I’ve begun looking up other opportunities I want to apply for and scribbling application deadlines into my calendar. You want your opportunity to pass you by! Gotta stay sharp!

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From The 6 Train Student Spotlight: Liz Pulos

During finals week last year, I had a chance to sit down with Elizabeth Pulos, a soon to be international trade & marketing major (and politics minor) who is officially finished with FIT in just a few weeks. This, of course, will be after her Peru. She’s participating in the International Trade & Marketing Department practicum in Peru, the class necessary to complete all degree credits. Before she set off on her journey to foreign countries she talked to me about the incredible things (my words, not hers) she participated in/ accomplished while a student here at FIT.

look how Fancy Liz looks!

look how Fancy Liz looks!

Here’s a very brief list:
– Winner of three International Trade & Marketing Scholarships: Ralph Lauren, New Times & PVH (which she encourages all ITM majors to apply for, this money helped pay for her trip to Peru)

-Writer and participant of the newly formed Brooklyn Fashion & Design Accelerator which is “The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator is a hub for ethical fashion and design where designers transform their ideas into successful businesses”

Check it out here: http://bkaccelerator.com/can-fashion-hunting-apps-help-sustainable-designers/

– President of the Corporate Social & Responsibility Club for the past several semesters where she organized/ facilitated incredible events open to the FIT community such as: having the Alliance advisor Ian Spaulding and VF Corporation Supply Chain VP Tom Nelson came to speak on campus or bringing in Chelsea Cooper (a FIT grad), founder of the CSR Club and Associate Manager of Men’s Denim Development at Ralph Lauren.

– Contributor of a chapter in an upcoming college textbook (how cool is that?!

We did not plan to wear matching bottoms! Just have great synergy. :)

The CSR club this semester, we didn’t plan to wear matching bottoms! Just have great synergy. :)

All of this, not to mention volunteering at the Best Friends Pet Adoption Agency, maintaining a 4.0, playing in a band, working in the film and movie industry, working on her own social compliance small business and being a generally kind and intelligent human. I had the pleasure to get to know Liz on a more personal level during the past semester. During the fall we were in the International Business Law class and served together on the board of the Corporate Social Responsibility Club. And I know that she will continue after graduation. Congrats Liz Pulos!

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From the 6 Train: Just Call Me DJ Aya

So as I mentioned before, winter break is the perfect time to experimenting and trying new things. For me, music had been an outlet I’ve been in dabbling in. I’ve always been very connected to music (much like the music industry and the fashion industry, one is influenced by the other.) This holiday season I sent my closest friends a healing folder as a gift. As apart of this folder I created this mix (my very first mix guys.) And I am excited to share it with you all! Below is this precursor to the mix. The link is included below.

“I get to share something with you that’s super, very important. As some of you may or may not know, I have begun DJing, and I am thrilled to be sharing my very first mix with you! You were my inspiration, brilliant, talented, dynamic women. I wanted to create something that was drenched in this very essence of the ultimate, awesome, omnipotent feminine energy. Initially, I was going to make this mix composed of only women artists. But that idea didn’t last long as, as I know just how important it is honor the holy feminine AND masculine (I am so lucky to know a plethora of women who embody both energies in such a beautiful way it felt absurd for me to bar that type of musical love.) On the last note, I want to mention that this mix is about how you feel, how you should be love and loved upon. The songs in this mix represent all aspects in life (I hope), when you’re feeling sassy or soulful or even when you’re even feeling uncertain about who you are/your purpose, I wanted it to be just as multidimensional as you. I hope you enjoy listening to it (and turning up to it) as much as I loved making it for you. I present the first of many loved filled art and music projects to come!”

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From the 6 Train: Watch Your Way to Inner Peace

The Cruise

This is about the life of a New York city tour guide, Timothy “Speed” Levitch, who gained a cult-like following during the stint of his time working at Apple and then Grey bus tours. He passion for life, New York and his heartfelt soliloquies captured the attention of so many bus riders that he was worthy enough of a documentary.

Listen to his eccentric philosophy that can challenge your perceptions of New York and the mundane daily life activities that we have all probably done at least once. He also talks about New York architecture and the lives/ homes of famous writers and artists.

Waking Life

This is an animation about unnamed character who moves through the movie in a lucid dream. The main character is essentially stuck in a dream and spends floating from one speaker to another, absorbing whatever knowledge that have to offer, most of it about life, interconnectivity of human life, metaphysics, various artists, etc.

There’s even a small cameo from Tim “Speed” Levitch from the The Cruise (that’s how incredibly pervasive this eccentric tour guide was.)

I hope these tools gets you started on your quest for inner serenity once the weather becomes absolutely crazy. If you can find peace during New York winters, you might be the next Dali Lama.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From The 6 Train: Read Your Way To Inner Peace

As a follow up to my most recent post I have a few exploratory works that may assist you in the your winter time of self discovery.

The following books are on the more metaphysical side, which is perfect since you will have the plenty of time to mull them over once the snow begins to pour down upon us. To align with the idea of looking back, we can use these creations to help us shape our future.

This is the version I purchased

This is the version I purchased

Tao Te Ching
I’ve read and caught glimpses of the Tao Te Ching but it wasn’t until this semester that I’ve read this holy text in it’s entirety. The Tao Te Ching is the primary text used by Taoists. I don’t use the Tao Te Ching for religious reasons, but as a guide and reminder as how to move through life. In the simplest terms, its simply to exist in the middle, displaying balance during the most ecstatic and the most challenging time times of life.

Here are a few chapters from the Tao Te Ching:

Chapter 9:

Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

Chapter 19:
Throw away holiness and wisdom,
and people will be a hundred times happier.
Throw away morality and justice,
and people will do the right thing.
Throw away industry and profit,
and there won’t be any thieves.

If these three aren’t enough,
just stay at the center of the circle
and let all things take their course.

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The Untethered Soul

This is one of my cherished books. It was gifted to me from a really important mentor in my life, (which if you don’t know have a mentor, not just a career oriented one, but also people who support your growth in other ways, be open to getting one).
This book is about moving outside of your immediate self and living life as if “there were a knife suspended above your head.” Because essentially, there is. Reading this book has the same of impact of having a near death experience, without the melodramatics, you end up with the same feeling of wanting to live your life to its fullest capacity.

I hope these tools gets you started on your quest for inner serenity once the weather becomes absolutely crazy. If you can find peace during New York winters, you might be the next Dali Lama.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From The 6 Train: Winter Wonda-Land

In case you all didn’t weren’t attuned…it’s officially winter! Yay!

I know its been feeling quite winter-esque for the past few months, but yesterday marks the official beginning of winter. Winter can be challenging, as it creates of atmosphere of hibernation and isolation. Both of these can be draining, if you let it simply happen to you as opposed to settling into acceptance and/or appreciation.

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To be honest, this is the first time in my entire life that I’ve been so welcoming of winter. The cold is difficult for me. And until last winter, I had never actually had to live in real snow (I come from Atlanta, so you know snow was a rarity for me.) However, I noticed a real shift within myself as the winter equinox this time. I am feeling the hibernation energy. More and more I realize how the outer climate impacts the inner climate. Just as all the creatures are preparing for winter, we should be as well. This means some type of hibernation, staying in to work on our passion project, watching, reading or creating all the things you’ve been “meaning to,” and more than anything, this is a time for self reflection. As the year comes to and end, there is no time like the present to review this past year. I don’t mean some basic surface level “review,” but taking a hot bubble bath and plunging into yourself. They’ll be no reason to rush out, the cold wants you to do just a little more self care than usual.

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-If that sounds like a bit of a challenge, here are some easy tips via Deepak Chopra to have a happy, healthy, winter. (That’s not boring, because I know that’s one complaint I hear often)

Walk in the sunshine for 10 minutes every day it’s sunny.
Walk in a really cheerful place when it’s cloudy, such as a park of arboretum where the trees are majestic in winter.
Spend regular time with the most cheerful people I know.
Take up a light recreational sport at the community center.
Mentor a young person.
Plan a dream vacation in every detail, living it through beautiful photos and magazine articles so that it feels as real as possible.
Turn quiet time alone into something inspiring by reading spiritual books or poetry.
Write letters, making each as entertaining as possible to the recipient.
These are all energizing options, the very opposite of dull. And that’s the key. Find inputs that are complete opposites of the conditioning that keeps you stuck in a negative situation.

Here’s the link if interested in the rest of this extremely helpful article.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.