Tag Archives: #survival

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–

It’s Happening!

I have some exciting news, but first read this post from a few months ago.

Done? Okay cool. Well guess what? I did it! I’m an adult!! Not really. Actually I just got my act together and learned to cook a few meals…but whatever, same thing right? And I did it without even taking a cooking class! (Which, to be fair, is one of my biggest complaints about this study abroad experience. Most kids here only take about four classes and those will include “Italian Style Cooking” and “Pairing Food & Wine”. WHAT?! I’m taking six classes and none of them have anything to do with food. Ugh.) But like the proverbial baby turtle crawling its way back to the ocean, I persevered. Just look:

Parmesan zucchini - Healthy AND delicious

Parmesan zucchini – Healthy AND delicious

Roasted potatoes, zucchini and pasta with shaved provolone

Roasted potatoes, zucchini and pasta with shaved provolone

family burrito night!

family burrito night!

Just makin' risotto

Just makin’ risotto

I am now the fried rice QUEEN

I am now the fried rice QUEEN

Spinach and ricotta tortellini with chicken, fresh cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan

Spinach and ricotta tortellini with chicken, fresh cherry tomatoes and shaved Parmesan

the classic pesto pasta with fresh cherry tomatoes and melted mozzarella

the classic pesto pasta with fresh cherry tomatoes and melted mozzarella

I mean come on, that’s pretty impressive considering the first post, no? Alright fine, they’re pretty much all pasta dishes, but what can I say? I’m in Italy! (Also we thought our stove was broken for like, two months. Turns out we had one of the knobs turned wrong….oops!) Pinterest and Epicurious are two fantastic websites (who are we kidding, just download the apps) for cooking inspiration. If I can do it, you can do it! (Unless you live in CoEd or Nagler. Then you won’t have a kitchen, so you can’t do it, soz mate.)

–Emily–

Pantomimes Anonymous

Two different Italians stopped me on the street today to ask for directions. On the one hand, I was proud because these authentic Italians mistook me as one of their own. I get a strange sense of satisfaction from being able to blend in with other cultures. However, this happiness quickly became became uncomfortable and embarrassing. This is because, wait for it….I can’t speak Italian!

Yes, my name is Emily Bennett, I’ve lived in Florence for three months and I still cannot speak Italian. I am so ashamed. For most people, the biggest worry while traveling abroad is whether they will be able to understand the locals. This, of course, leads to desperate hopes that most people will know English and even conversations stating how much easier and better the world would be if everyone just spoke one language (i.e. English). But what a horrific white-washing of culture that would be! Can you imagine living in a world where no one knows the subtle romantic quality of the French language, or the explosive passion of Italian, or even the mysterious Swahili?

I get it, it’s intimidating and embarrassing to attempt to speak a language that you haven’t mastered, especially to people who have been speaking said language since they were babies. Trust me, that is what got me in this situation in the first place. When I was studying in France, it was a whole different ball game. I had been studying French for six years before I was living on my own there, so I had a sturdy background of the language and was well-informed of the culture as well. This is the first time I have ever studied Italian, and I know what you are thinking, if I live in Italy, I should be learning the language twice as fast, right? No, wrong, completely wrong. Everyone here speaks English! At least the French have the decency to refuse to speak English to you! Obviously, it would have been much harder for me to survive here if people didn’t speak English, but I think I could have done it, and forcing me to attempt even the most broken Italian in every situation would have sped up my learning immensely. However, I am a self-conscious little baby when it comes to Italian. Too quickly will I revert to English, or not say anything at all. I go to the grocery store at least once a week and I think the only things I have ever said to any of the cashiers are “si” “no” and “grazie”.

Now that my time in Italy is coming quickly to a close, I wish I had pushed myself harder to learn the language and speak it. Honestly, it is a really horrible feeling to be in a country and unable to speak the language. It is embarrassing! Not to mention completely disheartening. I don’t mean for this post to be such a downer, but if you can learn anything from my little failure, really take the time to learn the language before traveling. It will make your time there much more rewarding, and the locals will definitely like you more. Also, don’t be afraid to forget about English and instead rely on whatever of the language you do know (miming helps too). It is much more endearing to see someone struggling to speak the language than one who just starts speaking English and assumes whoever they are talking to will understand.

Buon viaggio!

–Emily–

Student Sucess this week!

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You all know how I love FIT student success week! The week before spring break I had the amazing opportunity to go meet some new people at the make your own bunny event in the A building on the 8th floor. This week in the same room there will be Decorate a picture frame from 12-2pm in A739 this is held by the department of student life on Tuesday . Also on Wednesday there will be Sip tea and make beaded Jewelry from 1:00 pm-2:00 pm same place held by the department of student life. ( Most likely I will be there for this one taking pictures and interviewing students). Then on Thursday there is Make burlap crafts with N’ketian from 11-3pm!

Also get ready for some goodies! Bake Sales are always yummy! There is a Brag Bake Sale from 12-2 on Tuesday in the Dubinsky Lobby. Then another one on Wednesday same place for the Black student union from 11-6pm!

Some more special things going on this week are Blush magazine(  run with one of our very own bloggers Ashley ) is looking for models for a photo shoot. if you are interested please email: blush_magazine@fitnyc.edu .

On Wednesday Night the movie Ride along will be playing from 8-10pm with free popcorn being given away. I highly suggest it, I saw it already and I was dying laughing.

Lastly on Thursday from 2:15-3:15 Six flags tickets will be sold in A734 it is first come first serve! $25 dollars per ticket and only 2 tickets per FIT ID.

Have a good week,

Xoxo Kailee

 

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

Are You There Housing Gods? It’s Me, Emily.

I’d like to say that the stress that comes from trying to figure out housing goes away after freshmen year, alas I cannot. Finding a place to live is always complicated, especially in New York City. Basically you have three options:

1. Live at Home

If you, like many FIT students, live in the tri-state area, it is probably possible for you to commute to school everyday using the Metro North, LIRR or Subway. The biggest pro of this is free housing (assuming your parents are not going to charge you rent). That is huge when considering the high price of rent in the city, and dorming isn’t exactly cheap. However, living at home has its downsides. First of all, most people want to feel like they are getting away and starting their own life at college. Living at home doesn’t really create this type of fulfillment and may detract from learning to live on your own, i.e. cooking for yourself, cleaning up after yourself, doing laundry, etc. Also, commuting is extremely tiring. I interned and did one class over the winterim session one year and I would get home around 7 or 8 pm and just crash. Sometimes I wouldn’t even eat dinner I was so tired. The commute doesn’t even have to be that long, just the stress, and dealing with other stressed travelers, can really take it out of you. Finding time for a social life is demanding as well. You can’t just walk down the hall, or decide to meet down the block if you are living an hour away. In terms of stuff, FIT offers lockers to rent for $10. These are reserved for commuter students, although they go quickly, so get one asap. To be honest, I’ve never had a locker so I cannot say whether or not they are big enough for all the stuff every major has. Trust me, everyone has so much stuff at FIT.

2. Finding an Apartment

I’m going to be honest, I have never looked for an apartment before, but I’m terrified of it. I am hoping to start looking when I get home from Italy, and it all is very overwhelming. Apartments in New York are small, expensive and hard to come by. I wish I could give advice on this subject, but instead I’ll just have to ask for some! As soon as I start the process I will definitely let you know what I find. *Gulp*

3. Dorming

This is where I have my expertise. I have dormed for three years at FIT (except for here in Italy) and there are definitely pros and cons. There are four different dorms. Alumni, CoEd and Nagler are reserved (for the most part) for freshmen. Kaufman, the biggest, is mostly upper classmen. Generally the biggest pro of living in the dorms is how close it is to the school. It takes about three minutes from bedroom to classroom at any of the 27th Street (freshmen) dorms and about ten minutes from Kaufman. All the dorms also have laundry machines in the building, which is a rarity in NYC, and Kaufman has a (small) gym. Each building has a workroom which can be convenient for finding a space to work on projects without going into a room at the school. Alumni and Kaufman both have kitchens in the room, and therefore do not require meal plans. The biggest complaint for all dorms is overnight visitation. There are many steps for requesting an overnight guest and most students are fed up with it by the end of the first semester. The dorms are also very strict about alcohol as FIT is a dry campus, even if you are 21. Many students prefer Kaufman because it has newer facilities and is slightly more spacious (or at least seems that way because of the extremely high ceilings). Dorming is pretty much a toss up for pros and cons, but as a senior I am definitely hoping to move out on my own. Fingers crossed, I can find a place.

For any more specific information on the dorms I can answer any of your questions in the comments!

–Emily–

Where to Celebrate Midterms

Midterm week(s) are almost over so obviously it’s been a lot of all-nighters, coffee, and stress so you deserve a little TLC.  Here are my top 5 places to treat myself after a stressful week of school:

  1. Yogurtland, Off the Wall, 16 Handles, or Red Mango….so basically frozen yogurt.  Yogurtland and Off the Wall offer discounts for FIT students.  Once this brutal winter is over, you can expect to see me there very frequently.
  2. Brooklyn Bagel.  Yeah Panera is always delicious, but you haven’t had a true bagel and cream cheese until you go to Brooklyn Bagel on 8th Ave between 24th and 25th.  The assortment is unlike any other bagel place.  Take that Panera.
  3. Auntie Anne’s.  While the street vendor pretzels are delicious, the fresh and buttery ones at Auntie Anne’s don’t even compare.  Stop by their location in Penn Station and get your hands on one.
  4. Moe’s Southwest Grill – BEST QUESADILLAS EVER.
  5. Sleep. Because it’s necessary and you deserve it!

xx,
Ashley

All work No play

Hi again everyone! So on Saturday I was asked to show more of my work now from a lot of people, mostly students. I can’t show too much because well professors don’t like that for the classes and I can’t have anyone steeling my brilliant ideas! SO every once in a while you will get a backstage pass to ” a life of an interior design student at FIT” ( That’s right I am an interior design student and I am alive haha).

hhThis first image is a quick idea I did on Revit. For those of you who don’t know what Revit is, it’s a 3D design program made by the same producers of AUTOCAD, both these programs work hand in hand. You will learn AUTOCAD your second semester and REVIT your third, so before that it’s all by hand.

 

unnamedThis is a perspective drawing, you will learn this in your second semester. perspectives are 3D drawings focusing on two or more walls. To make these drawings you will take your drafting equipment and two vanishing points…. I can’t tell you that much :) You will have to wait to take the class. P.S every teacher switches there plans, so it may look similar to things I may post on here, but trust me it’s not so nothing can be copied here and that’s the only reason I am posting it.

I hope you enjoyed your little sneak peek, now it’s time to get back to work for me!

Xoxo,

Kailee

 

Student Of the Month

Like I mentioned in earlier posts I am going to be featuring at least two students a month, one that is in my major or major related area and another that i will randomly pick when i am around school.

For the first post I decided to pick one of my friends from first semester Melissa Guglielmo. She is a fourth semester interior design student, with an great passion for this program. Besides being in the interior design program Melissa also works 3-4 days as a bartender back home in Long Island. She is a commuter student that is always striving for something better in life. Melissa also attended community college before coming to FIT, she really enjoyed there program in interior design also and she felt like it helped a lot when coming to FIT. When she isn’t at school she enjoys her time with friends and family and anything that is fun and adventurous.

One thing that i can say from knowing Melissa is that she is a very hard worker, she will work then stay up all night to get her projects done. Her great work ethic is going to make her go far in life. Melissa is going to stay at FIT for her bachelors in Interior Design so one day she can become a certified interior designer.

Thanks so much Melissa for the short interview!unnamed

I’m on the look out for some more students! Look out FIT im here to get to know you!

Xoxo Kailee

Snow Snow go away

So in New Jersey right now we have over a foot of snow, crazy right? It looks like we are getting more this weekend too. So I thought I would give everyone some tips to stay busy.

Obviously you can sit around and watch movies all day or do homework but that’s not fun. To me it is a waste of the day, of course I had to shovel my house and cars out with my dad for half the day but when I got inside I needed something to keep me occupied. SO I went on Pinterest and looked up recipes and workouts ( Yes, I said workouts) .

kkThis is a great exercise for your legs and your abs, you don’t even need to use the free weights. I did about 100 of these and did I feel the burn. After shoveling and doing this I felt like I couldn’t move anymore.

bytThis is another awesome leg/ butt workout, I started by watching a movie on TV and on every commercial I tried to do as many as I could before the movie came back on. I did almost 600! It doesn’t feel hard at first but after a while you will definitely feel it.

lolThis is great for sculpting your abs and butt, remember anyone can do these exercises you just have to get motivated. It maybe snowing but summer and spring beak is right around the corner!

I also found a great recipe for a chocolate peanut butter smoothie, the healthy version!

This chocolaty smoothie is made with Greek yogurt and chocolate soy milk, both of which are rich in calcium, which is great for your bones in this cold weather. There’s also spinach, bananas and cashews, which helps all the ladies with cramps and relieves bloating! Then throw in some avocado and your ready to go! This was the best smoothie I ever had in my life, the ingredients don’t sound the best but just trust me on this one and try it!

So as you can see I’m still maintaining my healthy life style even on the snowiest of days! You can too, just think of how much more energy you will have for school! What are you doing on this snowy day? Anything fun?

Xoxo Kailee