Monday, October 25, 2010

Dancing the Night Away

First Chance ended up turning into a weekend-long event. Friday night L. and our friend Steve and I drove an hour to Albany to go dress-and-suit shopping (Albany is our nearest big mall...we really are in the middle of nowhere!) When we stopped at dinner, I accidentally locked my keys in the car (I do this ALL THE TIME...three times in the last three months), so once we arrived at the mall around 7:30 (it closed at 9:30), the rush was on.

I had a pretty exact idea of a dress I wanted in mind already (royal blue, beaded neckline, knee-length, not too fitted) so it was definitely a challenge to meet all my criteria. I had originally wanted to live-blog the dress shopping experience and ask for your opinions on the ones I was finding, but I had SO LITTLE time as it was that I just rushed through. I whizzed through Burlington Coat Factory, JC Penney, Forever 21, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Express, Ann Taylor, and STILL hadn't found a dress that I liked! By this point it was 9:15, and I was convinced that I would be leaving the trip dressless. I dashed into Macy's for one last try, and finally found a dress that I both purple and black! I rushed up to the counter at 9:29 to buy it, but I found out that though the mall itself closed at 9:30, Macy's was open until ten. So I got to have L. come by and check out my selection. When I walked out of the fitting room and he said "wow," I knew it was a good dress.

It had the EXACT neckline I was looking for, and though I wasn't expecting to wear purple, I was really happy with it in the end.

Saturday afternoon I had to run out AGAIN to buy silver heels, which I've been needing for quite awhile. And then I finally got to relax with my free trim and blowout from my stylist! Some of you guys wanted the scoop on how I scored my salon, every hair color treatment (did you notice it was darker? I hope it stays this way--this is closest to my natural color. I hate brassy brown!) comes with a free trim. During my coloring a couple weeks ago, my stylist ended up running late--partially because she gave me a free polish change while we waited for my hair to set (isn't she the best?) Since she had some clients waiting, I told her not to worry about the free trim. She was so grateful she said I could schedule it for any other day and she'd do it, for free! I had wanted a blowout before First Chance anyway, so it worked perfectly. Plus, while she cut my hair, she gave me the tester bottle of polish to touch up my nails. So basically, I got a cut, blowout/style, manicure, and eyebrow wax for a grand total of...$12! Not too shabby.

Moyukh (Momo) went with Rachel, even though she doesn't go to Williams. It was so fun to have a mini "summer crew" reunion. Also--she made her dress! How amazing is that?

Also, please ignore the decidedly unclassy beirut activity in the background of the otherwise-classy pictures.

Sara predicted this one would make it onto the blog. (Hi Sara!)

L. and I didn't coordinate our outfits at all. Do the purple and blue look awful? I loved my dress so much I just didn't care!

Ariel and I lived together freshman year. I can't believe that we're already seniors!

The party itself was super fun...until I sprained my ankle and limped home to put ice on it. But all in all, it was a worthy casualty for a perfect inauguration to senior year!

And of course, the perfect end to a perfect weekend was last night's win against the Vikings. Momo and I are diehard fans, and it was so fun to watch the game together and yell/throw things. But the sweet taste of victory was almost ruined for me by just feeling overwhelmingly sad for Favre.

...Just almost.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First Chance Dresses

This upcoming Saturday, we're having our first Senior event of the year- First Chance! We all dress up in formal attire, relish in a cash bar that's cheaper than the bars in-town, and get a chance to start our senior year by spending time with current friends and possibly making some new ones.

I ALSO managed to score a free trim and blowout from my stylist the afternoon of the party. I'm so glad I don't have to worry about blowing out my hair, because honestly I'm terrible at it and can never do it well!

Of course, now comes the universal problem of senior year. With so many class events...I need more dresses! What should I wear?

I could do something simple, sexy, and formal like this black strapless dress from Zara.

Or I could so something sweet, frilly, and feminine like this J.Crew ruffled cotton dress.

Royal blue is one of my favorite colors for dresses, and I LOVE the neckline of this Banana Republic piece. I wouldn't even need jewelery!

Sequins and belted waists are super big right now, and I've always wanted to try a one-shoulder dress, like this one from Forever 21. But maybe the fact that it looks like two separate pieces is too casual for a formal party?

I don't know if I could be bold enough to don this slinky cutout halter from Arden B. It looks super sexy, but is it too much?

I'm heading to the outlets this weekend, to look for dresses like each of the different types I've listed above: simple LBD, feminine and flirty, statement necklines, sequins or one-shoulder, and cutouts. What kinds do you guys like best? I promise pictures of the winner!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Recipe to a Perfect Fall Day:

1. Wake up and realize that it's sunny and warm! The elusive perfect New England fall day.

2. Go for a walk and take pictures of burgeoning foliage on your pretty campus.

3. Convince your boyfriend to wear his glasses for the whole day, because he looks the cutest in them, and it makes you want to snuggle more, which is a bonus for him.

2. Get yummy wraps to-go and bring them to Weston Field, where you will promptly watch Williams football beat their wussy Hamilton opponents.

4. Go out for a yummy dinner, which your boyfriend treats you to, because he was raised in the Midwest and thinks that a gentleman always pays on a date, even after two years.

5. Get a drink at your friendly neighborhood pub.

6. Meet up with your good friend Zeb and giggle when he and your boyfriend do really bad Zoolander impressions.

7. Go to bed happy and cozy, and pray that winter doesn't come for a very, very long time...

Monday, October 11, 2010

When One Door Closes...

Last week, I posted about how I got rejected from Teach for America. You guys were all super supportive and immediately responded that something great would be waiting for me just around the corner.

Boy, you guys are good. The DAY AFTER I received my rejection letter from Teach for America, I received an acceptance letter...from Carney, Sandoe & Associates! They are a teacher placement service that acts as a representative of students looking for teaching positions in Independent schools across the country. They only select candidates whom they feel they can successfully place...and they selected me! This opportunity feels so right to me, which makes me feel that something, though I didn't care to admit it, was missing throughout my Teach for America application process. Carney Sandoe has been SO supportive and helpful in the less-than-a-week I've been working with them, and my placement counselors are fantastic. I am completely excited for this opportunity...and also anxiously awaiting the day when they send me my first referral! The way it works is that if a school that matches my criteria (English teaching position, preferably high school, in California) has a position open up, CS&A will send me a referral informing me of the position. If I am interested, I follow up with the school, who CS&A, in turn, has notified about me, and sent my file to. If the school is likewise interested, they contact me for an interview, and that's where CS&A has to step back and let me shine (or fail, but let's hope not.)

Thank you all so much for saying that another opportunity would open up for totally did, and I feel so good about this one. Now, let the referrals start coming!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Brother's Wedding: Pictures! Finally!

This bee has been a wee bit busy (do you like the rhyme/alliteration I used there?) but finally I have a spare second to put up the pictures from my brother's wedding that I traveled to San Diego for two weekends ago!

It was a lightning-fast trip...I left at 5am Friday morning and got back at 8pm Sunday night, and did MOUNTAINS of homework on the plane, but of course it was worth it to see my brother marry (finally!) For awhile there we were getting a little worried (all my brothers are in their thirties and he is the first to take the plunge. Our joke is that I'll be next, before either of my other two brothers).Let's back up. I was *supposed* to leave on a 6:45am flight Friday morning. I got to the airport at 5:30am, plentyyy of time to get through security, even though I spied the line and for some reason, at 5:30am Albany airport was a zoo. But nonetheless, I was confident it would be enough time. But when I got to the ticketing counter, an employee rushed over to me and said that the flight from Albany to Newark wasn't leaving until 9:50am, even though my connection to San Diego in Newark was leaving at 8:50. Crap. So they rushed me over to the counter and put me on a 6:08am flight. I protested, saying that there was NO way I would make it through security in twenty minutes, but they rushed me off. Frazzled, I decided to just carry-on my bag, since it was small(ish), but I forgot that I had packed full-size (and rather nice/expensive) toiletries. I finally got to the security scan at about 5:55. Yeah, my plane had already begun boarding, and I hadn't even screened my bag yet. I asked them to move to the front of the line, since my flight was leaving in 15 minutes, and they just said "everyone is in the same situation." Um, no, no they were not, since I was forced against my will onto an earlier flight, and had I known I was going to be on a 6:08am flight, I would have gotten to the airport at 4:45am.

But I digress.My bag went off in security due to my full-size shampoo, body wash, and eye makeup remover, but by this point I was so anxiety-ridden about making my flight that I just told them to toss whatever they needed to toss. They did, but then announced they'd have to RE-scan my bag! I ran to my gate and got there around 6:07, and indeed, the guy was literally JUST closing the door. I had missed my flight. This was the point where I sort of just lost it. I dropped my bags and burst into tears and told them I needed to get on the next flight to San Diego or I would miss my brother's wedding. (White lie. I would definitely have missed the rehearsal dinner).After much crying and much ado, and after they told me they would NOT be able to even GET ME to San Diego by that night, I finally switched airlines and was put on a 10:30am flight to San Diego. For someone who already has a LOT of anxiety about flying, this all certainly did not help.

But, most importantly, I made it. In time for the rehearsal dinner, and the wedding. And it was beautiful and wonderful, and we all agreed I won the award for worst travel to get there.
The rehearsal dinner:

Getting ready the next morning in Tiffany's suite:

(Adorable champagne bottles!)

The ceremony:

(My brother Brad is the best man, the first groomsman from the left. My brother Scott is next to him, second groomsman from the left.)

Then we took some family/wedding party photos:

The reception: (I did not catch the bouquet. Much to my chagrin.)

(My parents when they got married! They were my age!)

(Brad thought the Best Man's speech was actually a stand-up comedy routine. Case-in-point: During the speech, he called out one of my brothers' friends for apparently attempting to hit on me all night. I was so involved in taking pictures I apparently didn't even notice!)

Thanks for looking! Weren't her colors beautiful? And I LOVE the reception was very modern-lodge.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teach for America, Part II

Well, I found out today that I wasn't selected for the final round interviews for Teach for America. I'm definitely a little disappointed, since I invested a lot of time and energy in the initial application, preparation for the phone interview, the phone interview itself, and the post-interview activities. But in a sense, I'm glad that I was let go at this stage in the interviews if I was definitely going to be rejected; If I had traveled an hour both ways to Albany for my in-person, day-long final interview and then been rejected I definitely would have been more upset.

I think that what Maureen said as a comment on my last Teach for America post was really great; that it's most likely a blessing in disguise, because I probably have a better-suited-for-me opportunity coming up somewhere down the line. And honestly, I'm excited to see what that is, but I'm so impatient! I'm terrible at not having things squared away or planned just makes me anxious not to know what my next step is going to be!

Luckily, I have an amazing friend named Juliana who grew up and attended high school in L.A. who pointed me toward a lot of private schools to look into, since for many private and independent schools you don't need more than a B.A. to teach. And her mom, who is equally awesome, got me set up with two teacher recruitment services: Cal/West and Carney Sandoe. I've been super impressed with how attentive and responsive Cal/West has been--I've already been contacted for a phone interview after applying just yesterday!--and I'm really excited to see where this path is going to go. Since I am SO highly specialized in American Literature, and am doing an honors thesis on nineteenth century American Lit, I think it could be really exciting to teach that period in high school. Hoping this all works out! And if not, of course I always have publishing and advertising jobs to apply for in the spring...if I can wait that long!

To everyone who wrote such encouraging and kind comments last week on my first Teach for America post, thank you so much! Even though I didn't get accepted, I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has about the process!