Category Archives: Off Campus

You Gotta Get Dirty to Be Beautiful

“New York is so dirty and the people who live there are mean!”

Ok, I’m not going to get into perception vs. reality, and how perception can affect reality, but i have to admit, we are a dirty bunch. I don’t think it is as bad as most people believe, but you can see overflowing garbage cans on street corners, the subway tracks are treated like one huge dumpster, and people don’t seem to have any problem with spitting anywhere and everywhere.

This is no excuse. If you ride the subway regularly, I’m sure you have heard the announcement condemning littering and reporting that it has contributed to an incredible amount of  track fires. Not only should you throw your trash in a trash bin whose sole purpose is to collect said trash, it would benefit all New Yorkers, and some could say the whole world, to go the extra step and pick up other, less considerate, people’s trash.

Last Saturday I went to Riverside Park’s Pier i to help out in their regular volunteer powered clean up. I was surprised, but pleased at the amount of people who had turned up early on a Saturday to help, especially because most were young people who seemed genuinely happy to lend their services. I have done the Riverside clean up before as part of the Pres Scholars push to impress the importance of community, generosity and giving back to others upon us. Previously, we have raked leaves, dug draining trenches and pulled weeds, but this time we were climbing rocks that descended into the river to pick up trash.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 10.58.22 PM

Three other Pres Scholars and I formed a mini team that took a section of the riverbank and just started scavenging. At first it looked relatively clean and I thought we would be done very quickly, but boy was I wrong. The rocks were big, so although it looked clean, all the garbage was hidden in the crevices, and there was a lot. Part of my job was to keep track of what exactly we found and how much, so I am not exaggerating when I say the amount of trash there was obscene. And it’s not even a place where people hang out directly adjacent! By far the most garbage we found was plastic bottles and, for some reason, foam. There was SO MUCH FOAM. I guess it’s because foam doesn’t really disintegrate so it was probably just there forever? All I know is, STOP USING FOAM PEOPLE. IT’S BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WILL BE HERE AFTER WE ALL DIE. I cannot express the monstrous amount of foam we found. We also found two condoms (still packaged, thank God), a used tampon applicator (gross), a syringe (scary), and a full ball of yarn (why?). Whoever left all of that there, y’all are nasty.

Look at all our success!!

Look at all our success!!

Despite being thoroughly grossed out by not only the physical objects we found, but also by the knowledge that there is so much trash that no one sees or bothers to clean up, volunteering was fun. It was a beautiful day out, we made a real and quantifiable difference in the beauty of our city, and by not sleeping in like  I wished to, I got a lot done today! Since I was already on the West Side I even went to Trader Joe’s to buy groceries and it cost HALF of what I usually spend at the grocery store near my apartment! (More on that later). Most people want to help, but always find a reason not to, whether that be they are too busy, intimidated or tired. But volunteering can be fun! Just find something you like to do, bring a friend and remember that you are being one of the few and the great who proactively improve our world!

–Emily–

Annoying Apartments

So, I finally decided to move out of the dorms and stake out on my own. I had heard that looking for real estate in New York City was hard, but heeeyy it can’t be that bad, right? “It will be fiiiiiine” I told myself.

omg totes gonna be my apartment

omg totes gonna be my apartment

Um…no.

There are many reasons why looking for an apartment in New York is so frustrating, but I think most stem from people changing their minds. One of the biggest issues I had was finding a roommate. This didn’t seem so hard at first, I was going to live with one of my friends who hadn’t moved in with the rest of our group in their place on Wall Street. Great, awesome. Fast forward to the middle of the summer before the semester starts and all of the sudden she is graduating a semester early and then moving back home to go to grad school. I mean, I’m happy for her of course, but it put me in a really crappy position. Then, I met this guy through a friend of mine who was also looking for an apartment near Columbia because he was going to start grad school. I met him, he seemed chill, so we decided to go in it together. However, neither of us was really doing a good job researching places and it kind of hung in the air for a while. Then a friend of mine who just graduated from FIT said he wanted to look for a place on the west side so he wouldn’t have to commute from Long Island for his job anymore. Great! I told Columbia guy “Sorry, I have to back out,” and he said he was going to tell me the same anyway because he got into med school! New roommate guy was an actual friend of mine and I looked forward to living together. Well, living with a guy who is not your significant other made finding the right apartment even harder (i.e. two bedrooms only, and railroads are not an option). Add in some inflexibility about location and price and the situation becomes almost impossible. Finally, after many frantic lunch break and after work trips up, down, and all over town I found one that would work for us! Only to have him tell me he decided he wanted to continue commuting to save money to go to grad school next year. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I mean I didn’t take it very personally, I know that I am not hard to live with, but it was incredibly frustrating to have seemingly every option presented pulled out from under me just as I thought it was really going to work out. Eventually I met my new roommate through the last guy I was supposed to live with. It was scary jumping into a year long contract with someone I had only met once or twice, but it all worked out fine. She’s super nice and incredibly easy to live with as well.

There are other issues, like the speed at which apartments are put on the market and then sold, pushy brokers and their exorbitant fees, picky landlords, and just finding a place that actually works and you feel comfortable in. Yet, I do find it really nice to be able to come home to my own place after class or work and truly not feel like I am still in school. It has also pushed me much further into becoming more responsible. I have to pay my bills on time now, budget my money and be extra careful about my own safety. Am I adult-ing yet?

my new room! yayy!!

my new room! yayy!!

–Emily–

I Made it to Santiago! (and back!)

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.00.24 PM

Hello again! After a very busy summer I am back in the NYC swing of things and there is so much to talk about, but I have recently found out that many of you readers were interested in the last post I made about doing the Camino de Santiago (read it here) so I thought I would give you a little follow up.

The few weeks building up to my start were pretty stressful, it didn’t help that I also had finals and was trying to figure out how to move out of my apartment and get all my stuff back home from Italy. I had done plenty of research on what to bring, what to expect in terms of weather and terrain, and how to get to St. Jean, but I knew that I wouldn’t really be able to know what the experience would be like until I was actually walking, and I liked it that way.

Getting to St. Jean Pied-de-Port was pretty difficult. I had to fly to Bordeaux (via London for some reason) then the next day I took the train to Bayonne and then a bus to St. Jean. It was a little overwhelming, there were a lot of pilgrims all arriving with me and I didn’t have a room booked yet, although there were plenty of places catering to us there so it wasn’t a problem. The first person I met was a school teacher from New Zealand who was doing the camino because teaching didn’t excite her anymore and she didn’t know where her life was going next. I also met four girls about my age who were from Kentucky. I knew that the first day of the walk was going to be the hardest because you have to cross the Pyrenees mountains, so I was a little nervous to go at it alone. To make the day better it was raining at 6 am when I got up. Luckily, those four girls were leaving the same time as me and also wanted to make it all the way across in one day, so I joined up with them. Before I knew it, I had my walking buddies. We ended up walking all the way to Santiago together and even picked up a few extra people along the way!

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.07.12 PM

To describe the entire camino experience would take pages and pages. Even then I don’t think I would be able to communicate the truly amazing time I had and all the fantastic characters I met along the way. It sounds corny to say, but this is one of those life changing experiences that can take you from crying and broken one day to looking out over a mountain range with exhilarated gratefulness the next.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.05.43 PM

One of many incredibly breathtaking sunrises I was lucky enough to experience

I think everyone should do it at some point in their life. It is physically difficult, but not impossible. I met many elderly people doing the camino (and I mean 60 plus) as well as kids! One girl was 9 and doing 15 kilometers a day on her tiny bike; there was even a baby. A BABY. If a baby, well if a mother carrying her baby, can do it so can you.

The journey is more about the relationships you build with those who are also on this soul searching pilgrimage, and discovering about yourself. While it is important for your body to be physically prepared, I would say that preparing myself mentally was much more helpful. I definitely thought a lot about the questions I hoped to find  answers for, and things I wanted to improve upon in my everyday life.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.08.32 PM

I will leave some pictures to try and give you a broad idea of what walking the camino (500 miles!) was like, and if you have any questions I would be happy to answer them! If people really show an interest I wouldn’t mind making more posts about my experience in greater detail, but for now I will be going back to New York/ FIT based posts.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.08.21 PM

all the pilgrims in one albergue (hostel type thing) would make big family style dinners a lot. They were one of my favorite parts!

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 2.57.51 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 2.59.19 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 2.59.14 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 2.58.37 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 2.58.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 2.58.05 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.08.43 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.04.15 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.00.02 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.01.00 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 2.59.44 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.05.52 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.08.59 PM  Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.07.24 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.10.16 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.09.41 PM

–Emily–

Fake it till you Make it. NYFW Edition

Hey Guys,

So as you were ALL well aware of New York Fashion week was held at Lincoln Center from September 4th-11th. Not only was that THE thing to do but it was the major theme for parties, events, magazines and obviously your news feed. I’m here to let you in on a little secret anyone can be someone (literally ANYONE, yeah I know you also know those people)  at MBFW with a little help from the old quote: FAKE IT, till you MAKE IT. Really my friends, all it takes is some makeup, dressing up like your life depended on it (and here at FIT we have that pinned down to perfection) and standing for 15 mins outside of Lincoln Center. Instantly you become someone who people want to take pictures of and think they are striking gold. Don’t get me wrong this is very fun to do (read on and I’ll tell you about my experience) but the real action happens backstage, not out there with the fashionistas, bloggers and all sorts of wannabes (sorry, had to say it). The only way to get a glimpse of action is through FIT and then network your way up.

  • My 1st fashion week (February 2011): I had just moved into the dorms and I started school. Walking through the hallways I noticed a bulletin board (keep your eye on those) with a sign that said NYFW volunteers wanted. There was a set date and time where you would sign up for the shows you wanted according to your schedule. I signed up for Zang Toi, Ruffian, Daniel Vosovic and Risto as a dresser, and can honestly say my dreams were starting to come true. In less than a week I was already working inside the tents with recognized designers and got to fill up a second row seat that was empty because it would make the runway look bad (pure luck). Right now, I should warn you about how very intense and secretive these people are I had to legit sign a NDA just to be able to volunteer with them (crazy right?). During those opportunities I got as much Intel as I could and networked my buttocks (you know what I mean, haha) off. This way I got to be asked again to work during next fashion week, needless to say that and my work ethics got me in again.180550_10150092218986751_6605557_n 180854_10150092209261751_4792358_n 182264_10150092217186751_7380738_n179823_10150092223206751_5400948_n
  • My 2nd fashion week (September 2011): This time I worked with the events sponsored by PLITZ Fashion Marketing Group and United Colors of Fashion by supporting back- and front-of-the-house efforts and planning and executing silent auction, including assemblage of gift bags at their Annual Gala (sounds very resume material and that’s right, just copy pasted it from there). Other than that I did do dressing again and of course more networking. I could’ve signed up through FIT but my schedule was a bit tough to make it even though they do them during common hours (Tue&Thur no one has class between 1-2pm).424532_10150527592636751_1018841098_n 473046c6-2f03-11e3-9b16-22000aa40fde-large 321435_10150284534086751_1132163157_n 315323_10150284531636751_2133955038_n
  • My 3rd fashion week (February 2013): I got invited to the David Tlale show a designer who I met volunteering for UCOF and was his first presentation in MBFW. Turns out networking really paid off!537087_10151236019446751_2030838615_n
  • My 4th fashion week (September 2013): Enough with the volunteering! By now, I was well aware that I deserved to see a show or at least enjoy having a gift bag instead of making one. Even if my previous experiences were valuable I wanted to experience the “glamour” of it. With my roommates almost forcing me to go I accepted to go with them and have my fame. Indeed, 15 minutes later I was starting in a video and people were asking to take my pictures. Mind you, I’m NO one in terms of fashion moguls, editors or buyers but yet it seemed like they couldn’t get enough of me. Shutters clicking everywhere and I knew it was my time to leave, I couldn’t keep pretending (haha those poor people) and wasting their time. So everyone knows it by: INVITATION ONLY, right? Well NOPE it’s not. Living proof here. I dressed all in black as volunteers are supposed to (plan B) and just walked through those doors with an all deserving attitude to find myself inside with less than a glance by security. Long story short, I got my hair done at the Tresemme Salon, free gift bags from Ebay and fashion magazines, free ice cream, pictures and drinks and more. I was about to get into a show but what the heck it was never going to be second row like the first time. Instead I went ahead and swam in all my free stuff.

1236731_10151559563251751_655676308_n 1237166_10151559566916751_1492874352_n 1235289_10151559571331751_15672081_n 557458_10151559563396751_103398110_n 1185671_10151559572046751_790691476_n  1231481_10151559568211751_1859172837_n1270508_10151563745396751_1705038218_o

  • This fashion week I stayed home and avoided everything altogether (seems kind of weird, doesn’t it?) I did post for my website InfoModaRD about the Dominican Models that were spotted on the Runway this time. Though, my new take on fashion week is exactly what Suzy Menkes describes in The Circus of Fashion, “something has been lost in a world where the survival of the gaudiest is a new kind of dress parade.” I did see people lining up and camping out to get into the volunteer signups at FIT. My recommendation to you is do it once because it is a learning experience, of course if you can. If you are uncertain just check out the designers and opportunities before you make that line. Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 10.48.16 PMAnyways just remember, whether you fake it till you make it or go flaunt your stuff all over Lincoln Center be wise before you answer any questions. Or you might just end up looking like this:

Carpe Diem,

Sadie

 

 

Sustainable Design! #NoImpact

This week at FIT is #NoImpact Week which offers a ton of fun activities ( Click the picture to link to the programs offered the rest of this week).

Sustainability_NoImpact_400px

FUN FACT -Did you know: As an interior design student I am required to include sustainable elements in my projects? Sustainable elements include anything from cork flooring to paints for walls that aren’t toxic for the environment when being painted on or taken off.  As a designer you take care of the well-being of the people around you, the people using your space everyday.  Would you want to be in a space designed to protect your well-being and the environment that looks amazing or one that just looks amazing and when it’s taken apart can harm you? #NoImpact

As a Designer you can join the LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) council.  LEED is transforming the way we think about how buildings and communities are designed, constructed, maintained and operated across the globe. LEED uses five different categories to judge a building’s sustainability; 1) site location, 2) water conservation, 3)energy efficiency, 4) materials, 5) indoor air quality, and a bonus category for innovation and design.

Many U.S. federal agencies and state and local governments require or reward LEED certification. However, four states (Alabama, Georgia, Maine, and Mississippi) have effectively banned the use of LEED in new public buildings, preferring other industry standards that the USGBC considers too lax.

FIT is one of few interior design programs currently in the united states strictly enforcing the incorporation of sustainable design elements in student projects. FIT practices sustainability in many ways such as our recycling program, reducing paper and other resource use, reducing toxins, and improving indoor air quality.  Our sustainable programs are on the up rise right now, putting FIT all over the news. So aren’t you proud of us? Want to be apart of it? You can find out more and how to all this week at the different events.

See you there!

Kailee

September is Sucide Awareness Month

Welcome back all, or I guess welcome back to me after a long eventful summer. I thought long and hard about what my first post back would be, and it’s something very near and dear to my heart,  Suicide awareness .

untitled

Just a few days ago I lost someone that was my best friend in high school to suicide . Everyone was shocked to find out what had happened because he never showed any of the signs, never mentioned to anyone anything was bothering him or anything.  He was the happiest kid you could meet, and loved anyone that came across him.

Getting back to school and getting adjusted to new surroundings can be difficult sometimes. Or Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend whatever it may be. Life happens but nothing that’s going on can’t be fixed! Every single person out there is beautiful inside and out, and has an amazing life waiting for them. There are so many people in your life that love you so incredibly much.  When my friend passed his wake was filled with all kinds of different people I never knew he was even friends with. He touched so many peoples lives without even knowing it, just like you do too.

So if you know anyone who has been depressed, please contact someone and look out for these signs:

  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order.
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

If you or anyone else you know is experiencing these symptoms let someone know. Tell a parent/ guardian. If your at FIT  you can go to  the Counseling Center located at A212B or call them at 732-217-4260 or you can call the National Suicide prevention hotline 1-800-273-8255. If you ever need to talk , your having a bad day? you can also contact me and I will be there for anyone that needs me.

This month in honor of suicide awareness month and everyone who has lost a life, a loved one please wear yellow or write love on your wrist , just one day this month.

You are loved,

Kailee

In loving memory of Cody Murphy.

imagesHMAEKII5

Summer lovin’ reading is a blast

Well everyone its finally SUMMER!!! To those who graduated congratulations and to those that didn’t I know you needed the break to get back to your non-stressed self. For me the summer is a time to take extra classes and read up on things that I know I will be in pursuit of next semester and also some fun reads.

I will be teaching myself more about sketchup this summer so I got the book Google sketchup for dummies which actually has really helped thus far. But some of the fun books I have read so far that I highly recommend are..

1.Animal Farm by George Orwell which Is definitely an illuminating fable that ill change your views on animals and how they are treated.

2.Suffer the children by Craig Dilouie it was called ” a wild and edgy apocalyptic thrill ride” this is one book I highly recommend I’m usually not into books about ” the end of the world” but I couldn’t stop reading from the second I picked it up. I finished it in a few hours and its over 400 pages.

3.Hallow City by Riggs which is actually a sequel to miss peregrines peculiar children. I loved the first book, as we all know second books aren’t always the greatest but I felt otherwise with this book. I loved it more then the first and I cant wait till the movie comes out.

4. Last but not least black moon by Kenneth Calhoun  I just started reading it and its doing a pretty good job of drawing me into it thus far. It’s full or emotion and a great  out look of what could actually happen to our society.

What books are you reading this summer? Any good beach books I should know about?

 

typewriter

The Summer To-Do List

Hola a todos,

I’m writing to you from my home in the Dominican Republic (yep, that’s right.. I live where you vacation haha). As the semester ends and we actually get used to the fact of not having to go to school everyday or worrying about homework, we are suddenly faced with three long months before us. Some of you may already have internships lined up already, jobs or, maybe even summer classes at FIT. For a lucky few just like me summer is meant to relax (especially if it is the last summer of your undergraduate life, technically the last summer in my life). With this in mind I have decided to do, live, and experience as much as I possibly can during this time. Moreover, I shall do all the things I love, because in the end that is what makes people truly happy.

As I thought about what I wanted to do this summer (sponsored by my mom of course, for the last time ever) countless things came to mind. For me, the best way to remember everything is in lists, so I went ahead and wrote a to-do list in order to conquer the next few months in the best way possible. Some of the items on my list are:

  1. Get a fall internship in Corporate Social Responsibility
  2. Create my own website and business card (vistaprint and moo are great for this)
  3. Eat healthy once and for all (Italy is OVER)
  4. Read all the amazing books I have pending
  5. Scrapbook the past few years
  6. Finish decorating my room
  7. NETWORK anywhere and everywhere I can
  8. Make really interesting posts, with things about FIT you never really knew

Of course there is so much more, but that is where the immediate list stands. I also want to take salsa dancing classes with my boyfriend and go to the beach every weekend. How about you? What are your plans for this summer? I bet only one day ago, the first thing on your list was change your FIT password before it expires LOL (I think that was annoying pretty much everyone).

Carpe Diem,

Sadie

Weekend trip

jn'Hey everyone so most of you are packing up getting ready to go back home while others are gearing up for the hot summer in NYC. While there is a ton to do in the city every single day you might want to venture out. As some of you know I live in New Jersey and maybe 15 minutes from the shore ( so I am always there) but it’s a great place to get away for the weekend or just for the day. To get there and back on the train it will cost only $35! Isnt that crazy? Then you could bring whatever money you want for food, ect. You just go to Penn station the NJ transit area and take the long branch train, it goes to almost every beach along my area. You can decide how which one you would like to go to but I would say go to Long Branch. It is only a few short blocks away from the train station and it has a boardwalk with shops and food and entertainment, It is beautiful. We actually went on Sunday for mother’s day, they have finally cleaned up everything from Sandy it was such a beautiful day. If you go you have to get the gelato there, there is only one place that sells it! Best thing you will ever taste I promise!

kkThats the gelato, So good I can’t wait to get more!

hbSome people were already in the water but I thought it was still a little chilly for that!

nbjIt was such a nice afternoon, walking on the beach, shopping, and laying in the sun for a few hours. If you have time this summer I would highly suggest it!

Where is your favorite place to get away?

XOXO

Kailee

This semester flew by!

WOW! It is almost the end of the semester for everyone. Between the long cold winter all the snow days and the long projects it honestly felt like summer was never going to be here.

I had some amazing field trips this semester. Some which included IGUZZNI, which is a lighting show room and manufacturer. We also went to steelcase ( the place i plan on working at one day ), the LEDUCATION expo. The NY times building and so many more, FIT really helps get you out to see the city and see all these places you never would have known existed. sd

This is the LEDUCATION expo where we got to meet vendors, and people we will be working with in the future.

Here is two of my classmates annie and hannah at steelcase. They gave us all kinds of refreshments and let us take as many pictures as we wanted.

unnamed

This next one is the demo we got at IGUZZINI, which was absolutely amazing.

htf

I also was able to spend a lot more time focusing on my studies this semester, I think im getting better at my time management skills. My favorite class by far was my methods and materials class with Carmita Sanchez Fong ( You might remember her from admitted students day or from the post i wrote about her a while back).

gvferThen lastly some of my projects I felt like I put my heart and soul into every project ive completed but these I know I worked extra hard on.

asdThis was my first project of the semester and also the one where i cut the tip of my finger off with an exacto knife because i was rushing ( not a good idea) So please if you are doing something in a hurry or just using one be careful!

finalAnd this was my final 3rd semester project!! With my group Annie Kate and Ani we pulled together an awesome project, we had some troubles printing along the way but other than that I was very proud of how it turned out!

I cant believe this semester is over already, it makes me tear up because even with all the set backs this was one of my favorite semesters. It pushed me to my limits but also showed my i am unbreakable, and I can achieve whatever I put my mind to.

What was your favorite memory this semester? I’ll post a few next week, so comment pictures , stories whatever you would like!

XoXO Good Luck with Finals everyone

Kailee