A Brief Bio About Me: A Gator Girl From the Beginning

I was born and raised in the heart of Florida, where everyone in my neighborhood has Gator flags and college football season is like a national holiday. So it’s no surprise that I was brained washed from multiple outlets to sleep, eat, and breathe everything Gator related from the beginning…something I am very thankful for. In fact, some of my most prized memories involve some sort of Florida Gator event. One that especially stands out in my mind was when my dad took me to a Highlands Gator Club function. I was so excited because I got to put my Gator cheerleader uniform with my big orange and blue bow…AND Albert the Alligator (one of my childhood heroes) was going to be there! It was an awesome night!

My Dad and I at a Highlands County Gator Event

Besides instilling the love of the Gators in me, my parents have always told me and my two younger brothers to chase our dreams and to never sell ourselves short. My dad went to UF for dental school and one of my dreams was to follow in his footsteps and to attend his beloved alma mater. There were many speed bumps along the way but I made it here…and I can say with all my heart that my time at UF has been the best time of my life!

About 15 years later the Highlands County Gator Club gave me a scholarship when I got accepted to UF. My parents and I are on the far left.

I have learned so much about myself and the type of woman I want to become over the last few years and now that my time here is almost up it is bitter-sweet. I am ready to go out into the world and use all my knowledge and experiences to better those around me, but I don’t know if I am completely ready to end one of the most important chapters of my life yet…it’s scary! All I know is that the love and support of my Lord, my family, and my friends has helped me reach all of my dreams thus far and I know they will continue to do so as I go through life.

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The Way I Survive College…

I have learned that in order to be successful in the field of Telecommunications you have to know people who know people who know people who can help you out or refer you to someone who can give you the interview you are looking for. I can attest to this. Without the help of my fellow classmates like Ashley, Zach (aka Wayman), Matt (the voice of WRUF’s Sports Radio 850 Cheap Seats), Tyler (always venting about radio) , and of course the wonderful and amazing and beautiful Amber (also one of my best girl friends) I would never make it through school without loosing my sanity.

These people have quickly become my friends…and are the reason I have survived college thus far! With their help I may make it to April 30th and don my gap and gown! =)

Let Me Tell You About One of My Best Friends

People always say the friends you meet in college will be the ones that stay with you as you go through life. When I came to UF I was really nervous I would not find the friends I have always heard people talk about. My best friend Brittaney was going to the University of Central Florida and even though Orlando is only two hours away I thought I’d never see her or find someone remotely close to her…and then I went to orientation and that all changed.

I remember seeing Katie and thinking I could be friends with her. Orientation came and went and before I knew it I was starting classes at my dream school. It only took me a couple of classes to realize that Katie was in pretty much every class of mine. We began to sit next to each other and talk and soon I got a Facebook friend request from her…and the rest is history.

Katie and I have now been pretty much inseparable since our first semester at UF together. We have gone on so many adventures (from Gator games to Spring Break) and helped each other get through so many television projects! Being able to call her and Brittaney my best friends…and having them in my life is truly a blessing!

Katie and I in Myrtle Beach for Spring Break 2011

 

Trenta Beers, Magic Cheers, the Real World Atmosphere, and My Inability to Hear…

So Spring Break came and went and I can honestly say it was the best one of my college career. It started with my boyfriend (Jon), his brother (Eric), and his brother’s girlfriend (Mari) and myself watching the Magic versus Heat game at the Wing House in Orlando. Even though the girl’s wear really short shorts the beers they serve there are pretty big…32 ounces to be exact (only one ounce bigger than the Trenta). Although I am not a big beer drinker I have to say I was pretty impressed with the size of the beers but by the end of the night the 99-96 Magic victory out-did the the extravagant size of the lagers. 

The next day Jon had to go to a meeting all day so Eric, Mari, and I putz around Orlando until the early evening when we made our way to the Amway Center for the Magic versus Chicago Bulls game (if you couldn’t tell we like the Magic and we like basketball). Jon met us there and we preceded to cheer as loud as possible for our beloved team to come back in the fourth quarter, hoping to get the same results as the night before. Unfortunately we didn’t walk away with a win that night…

Saturday Jon and I made our way back to Gainesville where I stayed for about five minutes before I jet-setted away to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with my friend Katie and five other friends for a week. Although the drive was seven hours pulling up to a Wyndham that overlooked the beach with plush king-sized beds and a plethora of pools got me in the relaxation mindset immediately. We had a blast! We all joked that we were members of the Real World because we were seven semi-strangers living in a condo and we stopped being polite and got real after the first few days! We went out to eat, listen to the tunes of dueling pianos at a bar, went for walks on the beach, cooked dinners in the spacious kitchen, went abroad on a casino cruise, and most importantly hung out in the hot tub for hours on end.

The best thing about chilling out in a hot tub for the majority of the day and evening hours are the people you get to meet. One day we were sitting in the tub minding our own business a group of fellow spring breakers decided to join us. We got to small talking and asked where each other were from…apparently these people were from Michigan Tech but I thought they said Western Kentucky? We all had a good laugh out of my little misconception but then it got better. We kept talking about the differences between Michigan and Florida when I astounded everyone but asking what it was like for them to go to Michigan State. I have always known that I’m hard of hearing but this instance truly illustrated how deaf I am becoming (I’m almost scared of what I am going to think people are saying when I get old).

I was also able to enjoy the comfort of home for the last few days of my break with my family. Even though all the fun in Myrtle Beach was amazing and unforgettable the time I was able to spend at home was much needed and very relaxing!

Now that I am back at school and work and stressed I can only dream of the next vacation I will have again…but it helps me appreciate all the fun times and days spent in pj’s even more! Long live Spring Break 2011!

 

Vitamin C at WUFT

Wednesdays are my not my favorite day. Every Wednesday I have to work a news shift for my TV 2 class. These shifts are very long and demanding and take up the whole day. Although there are times when I really enjoy working for a TV station days like today really wear on me, especially when I am battling a cold.

Today my producer sent me on a 45 minute drive to the worst road in Alachua County…County Road 231. This road is laden with pot holes and the erosion is absurd. I was photographer today so my job was to just shoot my reporters interviews and stand-up. We went and got footage of how bad the road was, knocked on ten people’s doors for an interview (which didn’t happen), and drove to two county representatives houses for interviews. Everything seemed to going great.

A movie trailer for “Sanctum” was also in Gainesville today that we were sent to cover as well. We got to meet the producer, get an interview with him, and got some awesome footage of the portable movie theater. Sounds like a cake walk right? WRONG!

As soon as my partner and I got back to the station and began editing our videos we realized that a short in one of the microphone wires had occurred and all of the interviews sounded like an alien was talking. I wanted to cry. I just spend ALL day doing two stories that now were ruined an hour before our news program.

I told my partner that I needed a  little break from the stress and ran to the Reitz Union to grab some coffee. On my way to Starbucks I realized how much my head hurt from the stress and sinus pressure and all I wanted was some orange juice. As soon as I got that OJ and just took a couple minutes to drink it before heading back to the station I felt a little bit of relief settle.

When I got back my partner and I tried to scrape together some kind of work for our newscast and luckily we did manage to get things done on time. Despite this, technical problems intervened and kept my whole days work from ever making it on the air. But luckily I am home drinking more orange juice with the hope that it will make me feel better by tomorrow…when my boyfriend and I go to the Magic v. Heat game…besides the OJ it’s the only thing that has kept me sane today! =)

A Break for the Barista

Like most people I do not find Mondays very appealing. Today was harder than most Mondays though. My best friend from Orlando came up to visit me this past weekend and after a weekend of dancing, shopping, and of course drinking…COFFEE it was hard to get into the swing of things. Aside from the departure of my friend and arrival of another busy week my boss asked me to work at another Starbucks, one of the busiest Starbucks in the area in fact. I was both nervous and excited when he asked me to this favor for him. I have heard some scary things about this Starbucks and am always up for challenge. I was supposed to work from 7:30-9 which wouldn’t be too bad so I figured I could handle this new atmosphere.

Last night I went to bed just like any other night, but was awoken at 7:45 this morning by a phone call. When I answered the unknown caller on the other end asked me where I was. You see, the Starbucks I work at opens at 8 in the morning so when my boss told me what times I was working I assumed it was at night. Well, we all know what happens when one assumes something and I ended up being wrong in this situation. I told the manager I was very sorry and could be there as soon as possible but by this point he told me not to even worry about coming in.

I felt so bad. Not only did I let the people at the “new” Starbucks down, I also misrepresented my home Starbucks. As soon as my home store opened I rushed in to explain what happened to my manager. He told me it was alright, that he hadn’t specified that I needed to be there in the morning and that it was his fault! I felt a huge sigh of relief come over me. Not only was I not in trouble with my boss, but since I do not have school on Mondays I got the whole day to catch up on homework and housework I had let slip from my amazing weekend!

As soon as I got home I made myself a fresh pot of coffee and used the new mug my friend had brought as a belated Christmas gift for me. Unlike most Mondays, I got a break from the real world and got to concentrate on what I needed to get done to stay ahead this week…including buying “Don’t Make Me Think” (more about this in the upcoming posts). =)

Fresh Brewed Blog

Hello!

While pondering what to write about on this blog page many questions crossed through my mind. What do I do on a regular basis? What do I find interesting? What is something I enjoy? After much thought I have come to the conclusion…my job!

I am a barista at a Starbucks and I love coffee! But to me my job is much more than serving someone a delicious cup of coffee. It’s taking those few seconds of interaction behind the bar and helping a customer escape from the everyday stresses of life by talking to a stranger with a smile on their face (aka me).

I have met so many people with amazing stories while donning my Starbucks uniform. Every time I come home from work I have a new story about someone I met at work or an interesting fact about Starbucks. What better way to tell the stories of my job than through a blog!?

So here it is…my Fresh Brewed Blog!