Tag Archive: school

So, I graduated from college.

My friends and I walking down the steps by our old dorm in our graduation robes.

Hey guys,

I’ve been busy the past couple weeks with graduation and then coming home. But I am here today and that is what counts. I am currently supposed to be job hunting, but I figured while I was being productive, I’d write a blog post. Graduation was super fun. Well, in the fact that I got my diploma. The ceremony itself was way too religious, cold, mildly rainy, and equipped with the worst commencement speaker I have ever heard.

The poor woman tried to cram every bit of advice she had ever heard into one speech while also trying to sell us her hand-painted wine glasses. At one point she tried to make a joke about Mary Baldwin women having nice legs and it really flopped. Nobody laughed. I felt a little bad for her. After her speech she was walking around talking to people and I don’t think she realized how much she messed up. If she did, she did a wonderful job of hiding it. None of my friends or family liked her speech. It was painful to listen to.

Brittan and I both in our graduation robes. Together at MBC.

When her speech finally ended, everyone got their diplomas. Mary Baldwin is a pretty small school, so we don’t have any fancy tech for getting everyone in order. Instead we have class marshals. One of which was me. I got to sit at the front of the line instead of at the back with the rest of the W’s, but I also got to help the graduates get their diplomas. While the dean called everyone’s names I checked with the next person in line to see if they were in the right order and then had to nod to the dean if someone was absent at which point she would add in absentia after their name. It was a tad nervewracking, but mainly, I was just cold. I spent a good portion of the 200-some graduates shivering as I directed them. It wasn’t bad though because I got to hug my friends before they got their diplomas and I didn’t have to sit and wait at the end of the ceremony because the class marshals walk out first. Also, I got to wear a gold epaulet on my shoulder to signify my office. It went well with my Omicron Delta Epsilon economics honors society cords and my Lavender graduation pin. I also got to wear a gold tassel because I was a Global Honors Scholar.

The graduation ceremony was long, but at the end I got to walk across the terrace and get my roll of paper from Dr. Fox. (We picked up our diplomas elsewhere.) This being right after the dean called my name with the highest Latin GPA honors. I really enjoyed all of commencement weekend. It was nice to be honored by the college I’ve been attending for four years. I worked hard and they honored me nicely. Also, unlike other schools, MBC has a bunch of different events to honor different subsets of graduates. I went to Lavender Graduation, the VWIL Change of Command Parade, and the PEG Reception. It was fun.

The squad pushing Brittan away because she left us.

I’m really going to miss Mary Baldwin. For all its faults, I really enjoyed my time there and all of the friends that I made. I look forward to the next chapter, but I’m going to miss the last one. I’ve been feeling down these past couple of weeks since graduation. Moving on from a four year chapter of your life is hard, but I’m moving on to bigger and better things. I got this. 😀

Squad pose

I hope you all are doing well.

Much love,

-Alora

School is Over. Now Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

My foot in the grass to remind people of summer. I took this picture at band practice last week.

Hello friends,

It’s Alora. I’m back! Now that I am nearly done with school, I have finished most of my projects and am super ready for summer. I’m also ready to get back into the swing of blogging and posting videos and just all around being more active online now that I have some actual free time. I’m also going to start working on that job hunt soon.

This week is my last finals week of undergrad and then I have a three week mini-semester before graduation!! I’m graduating from undergrad and then headed into the job market. The last three weeks have been really rough because I have had so much to do. This week, I took six finals along with a take-home final that I turned in about an hour ago. I only have one last class during the mini May semester and it is going to be all about Queen Elizabeth the First. I am very excited.

As for this blog and my YouTube channel we’ll see how that goes. In the next few days(ish) I am planning on creating my goal list for the future including short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. I am also going to be setting up a regular schedule of blog posts and YouTube videos. My blog content is going to be similar to what it has been in the past, meaning lots of book reviews, video responses and hopefully some more stuff about writing. For both my blog and my videos, I have a backlog of ideas and thoughts that I would like to get out there, so I may post extra things outside of my schedule for a little while to get caught up. I really enjoy posting, so I hope to stay in the swing of it longer now that I am not going to be constantly distracted by school. Not that I am really complaining, college was great and I am going to miss it. However, I am looking forward to a little more free time to pursue my hobbies.

If you have any ideas for future blog posts or just want to chat you can hit me up in the comments or just tweet me @alorabora

Talk to you soon,

Alora :)

Some Thoughts on Yik Yak

Hello,

In the past few days there has been an uproar at my school about the anonymous social media app, Yik Yak. Some posts were made that were racist and I’ve heard hate crimes were threatened, but I can’t confirm that. These comments have created a huge uproar on the campus, which is reasonable, I guess. Yik Yak is by definition an anonymous app. Most people on campus use it for hooking up or complaining about classes. There is a downvote option and posts that have too many downvotes will be deleted. The only record of the racist comments are in screenshots because people did downvote the posts and other users can report the posts and hateful language to Yik Yak staff. Then they can take action against the user that posted the hateful words without compromising their anonymity.

Ignoring the hateful words, reporting the poster and downvoting the post are all great ways to deal with hate speech. However, Mary Baldwin College has decided to ban Yik Yak. The IT department can ban Yik Yak from the wifi, but, from what I have heard, without back up from law enforcement, MBC cannot get the app to stop its services in this area. This means students will still be able to use Yik Yak on their data plans. There was a senate vote today which is when the decision was made to ban Yik Yak. (UPDATE: This vote apparently was just a vote to introduce the motion to ban Yik Yak. The regulation itself has not passed yet.) I understand I should’ve spoken out then, but I could not attend the meeting. Instead, I am writing this blog post to get my ideas out there without accidentally making myself look like a racist asshole which still may happen. I will edit and revise this blog post to keep myself from looking like a fool, but it still may happen. So please, comment below with your opinion and share with your friends to get their opinions too.

Banning Yik Yak is stupid. That’s it. The way to deal with hate speech and the people making it is not to create a huge stink about a few comments and banning a widely used app. This gives the original poster power over us. As I said above, Yik Yak can take actions against the poster and other users can downvote and report the post to have it removed. Talking about the posts and letting everyone know that this type of speech is not okay it important, but banning Yik Yak is just trying to put a stopper into people’s mouths. The free speech argument is often used by assholes to explain why they are being horrible to others, but in this case, I am not advocating for letting people post hate speech on Yik Yak. I am advocating for teaching people that posting hate speech is not okay and will not be tolerated. Some may think banning Yik Yak is the best way to show people that hate speech will not be tolerated, but there are other ways. Reporting the post to Yik Yak works and openly talking about the horrible posts works too.

The comments in these posts were specifically racist which is why they caused a huge stink. However, last year there were hateful comments about LGBT people on Yik Yak and the college did nothing. The students talked about it and said “That’s not okay.” The posts were downvoted and they disappeared. We did not ask the college to ban Yik Yak. We did not give that power to the original poster of the hate speech.

I do not want to make a very long post. I just wanted to offer up my opinions on the matter. Banning Yik Yak is not the best way to deal with this. People who want to make hateful comments will just find another place to do it and banning Yik Yak will only annoy the students who don’t have large data plans. Everyone else will still use it with their 3G. Students will not stop using Yik Yak and the hate speech will not stop if Yik Yak is banned. Instead, we should promote diversity and inclusion by spreading love and not giving power to hateful people.

That is all. Enjoy your day and enjoy using Yik Yak before the college tries to silence us.

Much Love,

Alora

EDIT: P.S. I stand behind removing hateful comments and posts from social media because they are attacking others. I do not stand behind the banning of an app that promotes free speech.