Tag Archives: growth

I’m Going on an Adventure!

I know I said that this year was my “year of travel”, but I am about to embark on my biggest adventure yet! After my last final on Thursday I will be packing up everything I brought to (and bought in) Italy and sending it home. Fingers crossed nothing gets lost or broken in transit. All I will be keeping is my trusty bright red backpack, hiking shoes, the ever important Nalgene, and a minimal amount of clothes and travel necessities. When you have to carry everything you own on your back, the line between needs and wants becomes much more clear.

I am doing this because in a week exactly I will be walking. A lot. I’m going to walk from one end of Spain to the other. Actually I am walking from a little town in France called St. Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago, Spain and hopefully if I have time to Fisterre or “The Ends of the Earth” – the last place people believed you could go before falling off the edge of the world. I can’t think of a better, or more dramatic, place to end my pilgrimage.

Full disclosure: I have never actually watched any of the Lord of the Rings movies, this is just too perfect to not include

Full disclosure: I have never actually watched any of the Lord of the Rings movies, this is just too perfect to not include

That is what I am doing, a pilgrimage. Specifically El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, as it is officially called, is a medieval trail that Christians crossed to see the remains of Saint James. By proving you walked a certain amount of miles (by getting stamps at stops along the way) each pilgrim receives a fancy diploma-like document in Latin that absolves you from all your sins. To be honest, I am not an extremely religious person (I don’t really see the point when the basis of all religions boils down to the same basic beliefs, but that’s a whole different conversation), so completing this journey will be less about being forgiven for my sins and more about focusing on making myself a better person, and just the fact I could do it.

Each one of those blue dots represents a day of walking

Each one of those blue dots represents a day of walking

This whole thing started a few summers ago when I went to go see a movie with my mom at the little, artsy movie theater in my hometown. It was called “The Way” and it started Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. When the movie finished I just said to my mom “One day I’m gonna do that.” And here we are, I’m following through with the promise I made myself. (Also the movie is really good and still on instant streaming on Netflix ((I think)), check it out!)

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With only a week left I am getting pretty nervous. I was originally going to have a friend from high school who is fluent in basically every language come with me, but due to money issues she had to cancel. After that, trying to find someone not only willing to walk 458 miles, but who also had all of June and some of May free proved extremely difficult, and so, I will be doing this on my own. In a way I think it might be better this way. I will be forced to meet new people and I will be able to reflect on my own life in more peace. But that in itself is pretty scary, let alone the actual physical dangers that the Camino can hold.

On the other hand, you can’t have an adventure without a little danger!

–Emily–

Reflections on Italy

I love Italy. I love the food, I love the views, I love the art. Everything. There is one thing that I have been missing though. It is the one thing that has made me appreciate FIT immensely since I have been here, and that is our teachers.

I’ll admit that as a freshmen I really didn’t think that the teachers at FIT would be the absolute best. I mean, it’s not like we’re Harvard or Yale. But after three years I realized how wrong I was, and I didn’t comprehend how great they were until I didn’t have them anymore. This semester was the first time I have been exposed to teachers other than ours at FIT, and they were not all bad, but they just could not hold up to the quality back home.

I didn’t realize how much our FIT professors strive to make our lectures interesting and engaging, or how (relatively) easy it is to get help from them one-on-one. For example, I am currently taking a class called “History of Italian Fashion” and every time I walk into the classroom I find myself wishing that Lourdes Font was teaching the class. Professor Font is by far one of the smartest and most knowledgeable people I have ever met. She knows everything about fashion! I took her class “Costume and Fashion in Film” and despite it being a four hour long class on a Friday, it was one I constantly looked forward to attending. If you can make history of anything interesting to a twenty year old at six o’clock on a Friday, kudos.

As much as you may believe your professors are trying to drive you to the loony bin for all the work they give out (especially during finals and midterms), they are truly invested in your success. Linda Sands was my first draping professor and she scared the crap out of me for the first half of the semester. Every time she came by my table to check my work I felt like I was going to throw up. By the end of the semester I realized she was so harsh because she was pushing us to pay attention and make our garments perfect. Needless to say our whole class ended up loving her and we even threw her a surprise birthday party! I was so happy when I got her the next semester for pattern-making. She can be a little scary, but it’s just her mamma bear claws. I know that if I were to show up at her office with a project I was working on, she would stop what she was doing and help me solve my problem.

The professors at FIT are the greatest asset I didn’t realize I had until I lost them. They always say one of the most important things you should do while in college is make relationships with your professors. I always thought that sounded really intimidating. I mean, they’re adults with lives, and there are so many of us how could they possibly single each one of us out to care about? But trust me, when you find a class you love taught by a professor you really admire, you will create that relationship. Honestly, there have been so many professors at FIT who have helped me grow, academically as well as personally.

And don’t always trust ratemyprofessor.com. You’ll be surprised.

–Emily–

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Dean’s List

That envelope was my unexpected reward for a year full of hard work (I mean it, just because it is fashion it doesn’t mean it’s less demanding). When my mom called to tell me I had been mailed a diploma back home I couldn’t wait for her to tell me what it was. I really had no idea, what the Dean’s List was when she told me I’d been on it for the year 2011-2012. Subsequently I dug through the FIT website and was able to find more info that today I will share with you (what a lucky bunch). I hope one day this envelope might surprise you or that you become aware of its existence and strive for this achievement. 622464_10150952080156751_1685140454_o

I’m in the The Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology, and our Dean is Steven Frumkin(awesome, super intelligent man). At the end of each semester, the Dean’s list is posted and it honors students who have completed more than 12 credits and have achieved a GPA of 3.5 or better. To find the latest list (fall 2013) click here and then select your major.

970150_10151491944021751_437271836_nAfter my first recognition I can proudly say, I’ve been on the list every semester. I leave you all with an inspiring quote:

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
Jimmy Johnson

Carpe DIem,

Sadie

 

 

 

NY Times and FIT

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Did you know that the NY times that is provided for you in the lobby is paid for by FIT? FIT buys a certain number of copies everyday for the students to use. Did you ever realize that those copies are gone by I would say 8:30 at the latest? Well as students we can request more copies! All you have to do is write to the president of our school and the more people who request it the better!

Also did you know with those copies at school you can get an online copy as well? Free 247 hour access each day. The directions on how to access that is above each of the copy racks located all around school. There is one in the D-building right before the elevators.

My Methods and materials class ( third semester interior design course) just went on a trip to see this building and it was beautiful in every aspect.The building was designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano in association with FXFOWLE Architects. They had an incredible use of new technology. An advanced dispatch elevator system that uses 24 passenger elevators (32 elevators total, including service) for faster, more efficient service. The passenger indicates on the touchpad in the elevator lobby to which floor he wishes to go. The elevator system directs the passenger to a particular elevator, which picks up the passenger and drops him off on the correct floor. ( that was the coolest thing by far)! They also had Wi-Fi throughout the building to make sure employees were constantly working. ( Talk about a job that encourages you hah)saThis Picture is of the cafeteria – you weren’t aloud to take pictures inside so all of these are from Google

The NY times building is completely sustainable and the first of its kind. After seeing that building I think the interior design students would agree that we could seriously upgrade FIT to a completely sustainable building if we had the funding. ( IT WOULD BE A LOT of money). Overall it was a great experience and if you ever know any classes that are going I would highly recommend it! My Professor was more then happy to bring along extra students!

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These were the stairs going to all the different journalist areas. This area was a lot more quiet then I thought it would be. I guess when I think of this area in a building I think of an old movie I saw it in with people screaming out ideas and such. wsaLastly this is the living moss garden in the middle of the building, located on the reception floor, a beautiful detail added in. You can see this from almost every angle of the building.

XOXO,

Kailee

Psst…Hey You…READ THIS!

Did that get your attention?  I sure hope so!  Upon moving to NYC for college, I started a project called “Psst…Hey You…”.  I give out cards (see picture below) to people that I find beautiful inside or out or someone who needs a pick me up.  From there, the person instagrams a picture of the card of where they received it in the background and they upload it onto Instagram with the hashtags #PsstHeyYou and #YouLookBeautifulToday.  On the backside, the recipient writes when and where they received it and then they pass it on to someone that they find beautiful.  I then repost the Instagrammed picture on the Psst…Hey You… instagram @PsstHeyYou and the Psst…Hey You… blog.

This project has been really near and ear to my heart.  The cards have been floating around FIT so please be sure to instagram and tweet and pass them on if you received one.  First stop…FIT…next stop The Ellen Show?  Maybe someday!  Be sure to follow Psst…Hey You… on instagram and twitter! http://instagram.com/PsstHeyYouhttps://twitter.com/PsstHeyYouCards

Psst...Hey You...Card

xx,
Ashley

Rewarding Moments at FIT

FIT is known for the opportunities.  Since coming here in August, I’ve had a lot of rewarding memories that I will hold with me forever.  Among my many memories within a year, the one that stands out to me the most is being a part of Blush Magazine here on campus.  Blush is the beauty and fashion magazine here at FIT.  I’ve talked about it in many of my posts for the blog, but it truly is one of my favorite things about this school.  I’ve met so many amazing people and had so many opportunities with it.  I’m the Senior Photo Editor for the magazine and I cannot recommend a better club to someone who is interested in fashion magazines.  Coming from high school to FIT, there are many times where you wish that there was a club or organization that fits who you are in high school.  When you come to FIT, there is an abundance of clubs and organizations that are suitable for every single student’s interests.  Upon joining Blush, I finally felt like I was at home, which is something that every student deserves to have.  What’s a rewarding moment for you that changed everything?

xx,
Ashley

Notes From the 6 Train: Breaking Up With Heartbreak

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( Don’t take Wiz Khalifa’s advice!)

Between midterms, applying for scholarships and summer internships/ jobs, working on honors project, and the million other things most FIT students are doing, it’s easy to become a bit scattered brained. Not to mention something I hadn’t planned for, a very abrupt ending to an three & half year experience ( ranging from relationship, to friendship and many complicated middle passages) with someone I really cared about, of which I was informed through a text message. Usually, I don’t get personal on this blog, but as a writer, I am committed to to telling the truth, whatever that means. And I know that this is not just my truth, because breakups are a universal experience. They happen, usually at the most inconvenient times, ( what is a “convenient time,” though) and, if you let them, have the ability to completely throw you off. Here’s a mini list of things I’m doing while in this transitional period in my life.

You can’t control what people do, but you only how you respond. Be sad. After putting you’re all into something and it doesn’t work out, you’re allowed to be sad. Trying to ignore what you’re feeling isn’t healthy, and you’re doing a dishonor to yourself. But don’t let the sadness consume you. Give yourself a prescribed amount of time to be sad, a week, a month, three months, whatever that may be and then, begin to move on.

Reach out to your support system. I am fortunate to have an amazinggg support system. Unfortunately, we’re scattered across the globe, but despite that I’ve received love from all over. My sister queen in LA even sent me an inspirational video of her dancing around. Another friend, this one located in NYC, brought me so magical Indian food, (I’m totally a believer that food holds healing qualities) and just hung out with me. If you don’t have anyone in New York, and just need someone to talk to, that’s what the health center is for. Sometimes you just need a good cry, in a private place, between classes and that’s what the FIT therapist’s offices are for.

Spoil yourself. Sometimes when we become accustomed to other people treating us well, we stop doing it ourselves. Breakups are the universe’s little reminder that you always deserve to be treated well. So, spoil yourself, whatever that means. Whether that means that extra piece of cake or getting those shoes you’ve been eyeing. Hey, you know they’ll never leave you. For me, that meant going to acupuncture ( at FIT for free) which is super relaxing, eating veggie burgers all weekend (which I’ve discovered is my comfort food) and NOT running all over New York, for once. Allowing myself to relax, if only for a week, is a treat in it’s self.

There are lots of other tasks I have taken up during this growth period but there’s no way I can list them all. I think that most important is remembering to be happy. Happiness is definitely a choice. I am coming to peace with my past, all the good and the bad, and am excited about what’s next. Everyday I wake up and remember “you’re young, you’re living in New York and this is all to prepare for whatever greatness lays ahead.” I hope you tell yourself the same.

All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.

Notes From the 6 Train: All For Afrofuturism

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As a student I’m always trying to do free things (duh) and as I’m sure you’ve noticed before, I’m a bit of a museum buff. A few weeks ago I visited The Studio Museum with a friend. The Studio Museum is one of those famous landmarks that every borough has. Located right on 125th in Harlem, it’s in the heart of history. 125th is a pillar of black history, it is known as the hub for black excellence and revolution. Harlem is home to the Harlem Renaissance to the place where Malcolm X was assassinated nearly ( # of years ago.) 125th remains the place where the African American Day Parade is held Annually, and where Studio Museum is located.On Sunday’s, it’s free and there’s usually an activity; an artist performance, discussion, or storytelling for children.

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The exhibit “The Shadows Took Shape,” about Afrofuturism, a concept inspired by an esoteric poem written by Sun Ra. Afrofuturism refers to “a creative and intellectual genre that emerged as a strategy to explore science fiction, fantasy, magical realism and pan-Africanism.” (Studio Museum) The exhibit featured 29 artists of the African diaspora and was simply stunning. The Afrofuturism concept was displayed through all types of media; film, poetry, photography, etc. and thought provoking and mentally tangible, the perfect blend of esoteric & understandably abstract. It captured many of the complexities and magical magnificence people of the African diaspora have maintained across the globe. If the cold has been driving you indoors, take a trip uptown to remember how enchanting we all can be by entering the world of Afrofuturism, a place where recalls just how magical they are.

Below I have posted the links to link to the museum and the blog for “The Shadows Took Shape.”

http://shadowstookshape.tumblr.com

http://www.studiomuseum.org/

All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.

Notes From The 6 Train: The Color of Beauty Awards

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This past week I had the pleasure of attending the first annual Color of Beauty Awards. This event was given by a former FIT Professor (hooray for supporting people from the FIT community), and went with the BRAG FIT chapter. It was our first event of this semester and it was a nice way to begin the year. The day began at the NYU’s Stern School for Business, with a panel about the “black and brown customer, diversity issues in the fashion world, from faces on catwalks to covers, the diversification of the POC ( person of color) customer.” I was unable to attend the panel discussion due to classes, but I was glad I had the opportunity to the award show. It’s always nice to offer thanks to people that have paved the way for your success, as well as congratulate your peers who are making their history. Beverly Johnson ( the first black model to be on the cover of Vogue & French Elle) was recognized and awarded for her consistent breaking of glass ceilings in the fashion industry. Having the opportunity to talk and show appreciation to such phenomenal people in the industry is always special. Priyanka Chopra, a popular Bolloywood actress and the first winner of Miss World Pageant was also honored along with a host of movers and shakes in the fashion industry. February was already been filled with such amazing opprotunites for growth, fun and networking, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the month has in store for me! I hope your month has, and continues to be, just as inspiring as mine’s.

As always, All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.

Notes From the 6 Train: What I’ve Been Up To

One thing I love about FIT’s winter break is that it’s so long. We have over a month to celebrate, travel and rejuvenate before beginning the new semester and it’s much appreciated. This break I have been able to accomplish so much and there’s still two weeks left. One main priority of mines was to spend as much time with Catherine as possible. Catherine is essentially my ten year old daughter, or at least it feels like it. I’ve been playing with her since I was a sophomore in high year school, six years, and have learned so much from her. I’ve found that kids are some of the best teachers because they are unknowingly honest, haven’t learned to view the world through the various lenses adults have and are usually far less judgmental then adults as well.

Catherine is extra special. She has Aspergers Syndrome, which is on the high end of the Autism spectrum. I began playing wit Catherine in high school to combat my fears of people with special needs, (not to mention the pay was pretty great for a high school sophomore.) But what started as a part time job grew into a journey of love and acceptance. As mentioned before, I will admit that I was afraid or people with special needs, mostly because I didn’t know or ever have to interact with people with special needs.

Throughout the years of play with Catherine, I’ve learned that people with special needs and I are not very different, we experience the world in different ways. I am not necessarily smarter or better then her, we just excel in different capacities. She can do things I wish I could do. Her memory is astonishing. She can hear something once and repeat it back perfectly, it’s simply amazing. What is most amazing though, is her lack of judgement and ability to truly love unconditionally. I don’t think even think race or color resonates with her, the only color she ever makes a fuss about is the color of my hair ( which is constantly changing). People claim to be “color-blind,”  which is simply not true. There are several studies that prove that color is the first thing humans notice, it does cover our entire body, making it a bit difficult to ignore. Being loved by someone who does try and turn a blind eye to our differences, but rather simply accepts me as I am, is a privilege.

I could literally write an entire paper on what Catherine has taught me. As we get closer to the beginning of the semester, remember the classroom is not the only to place to learn. Grow your soul.

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(Here’s a photo of us from this summer attempting to paddle boat)

All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.