Emma: Freelancer Edition

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

This summer has been the summer for achieving goals.

  • Running my first 10K
  • Working in corporate
  • Eating healthy consistently (minus last night’s chicken tenders at the Dairy Bar)
  • Spending a lot of time with family
  • Reading books in addition to watching Netflix

One of my proudest accomplishments is being published in my local newspaper, the Manchester Journal. My dad worked for the Bennington Banner when I was very young. I clearly remember asking my mom how come Dad always worked and never picked me up from school. I rarely saw him, because he cranked out articles every day! He initially sparked my fascination for writing and print publication. Naturally I grew up reading the BannerJournal, and the Vermont News Guide. Being featured in them a few times was always a highlight too.

Before the summer began, I had a goal to be published in print. I wrote the article for the Florentine that was published online, but I wanted to see my name and my words on paper. Everything’s digitized now that print publication feels more ‘authentic’ or special.

I emailed the editor of the Journal, Greg Sukiennik, asking if they had a freelance budget. To my surprise, he got back to me a couple hours later saying he could help me out and meet with me after viewing some samples. Lucky enough for me, I had some to share that weren’t academic papers!

We met at Spiral Press Cafe during the week on my lunch break, and he was genuinely interested in my writing interests. It’s rare to find people who invest in young students (especially in the journalism industry).

Greg basically gave me the freedom to write about anything/anyone relevant in the community. He also said he would give me assignments. One day at Tuttle, I came up with the idea to write about Pierce Fulton, a Stratton native, who released his debut album. I got the green light from Greg, contacted Pierce’s manager, and interviewed Pierce that weekend in addition to getting a quote from his music teacher at BBA. It was quite the process!

At my mom’s camper that weekend, I proudly typed up a story (over 1,000 words). The response I got from Greg was to cut it to 750 words. Edit, edit, edit! I learned a lot from that first writing experience. News writing is something new to me (blog post to come in the near future). I was ecstatic picking up the paper on Friday morning at Stewart’s. I frantically flipped through it to find the picture of Pierce I submitted and my name. Such an adrenaline rush. There were some corrections, but overall, it was a success.

The most recent article I wrote is about the young musicians in Manchester this summer. This was a piece assigned to me specifically by Greg. He wanted me to capture What’s it like to study music in Vermont for the summer? This story took a lot of time, work, and effort. I met with four students and two directors within two days (on top of interning for 8 hours/day) and wrote the story in one afternoon at my grandparents’ house. I had a clearer idea of how to write it (I had 950 words this time) and used the suggestions from my last story to improve.

Having people mention an article in the grocery store, sharing my writing with the community, my friends, and family, and seeing my work in something I’ve read for years is a humbling and rewarding feeling. My passion for writing has deepened, and the skills I’ve acquired will be useful in the future. Stay tuned for my next article about John Werner’s 40th Annual Arlington Soccer Camp. I’m super stoked for this one–I grew up attending and volunteering at his camp! xo ~ e.

Please give my newspaper stories a read! Links below 🙂 I’ve also updated my ‘Publications’ page with some FlockU clips as well to check out.

Sweet music

BBA grad Pierce Fulton releases debut album

Birthday Weekend

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The LeMay/Dauenheimer Family celebrated a spectacular birthday weekend for the July birthdays (my mom, Aunt Louise, and me). We kicked off the weekend with some hard fought matches of racquetball. My grandpa and I have been playing nearly every Saturday or Sunday morning together this summer, but this time I got to play against his son and witness the higher skill and intensity between the two for a couple matches. It was the first time I saw Pop bring his true ‘A game!’

Saturday evening we had dinner at The Bryant House in Weston after poking around The Vermont Country Store. I can’t get enough of it this summer so it appears! We had a long dinner (Italian length), and my great aunt and uncle from Middlebury joined us. I felt so happy to be with the entire family, since it’s what I missed the most while abroad.

20170715_170640 (1)

My people

We headed to the Weston Playhouse to see Once! It was an amazing performance and the last one of the season at the theater. 10 years ago I appeared on that stage night after night as a daughter in The King & I.  The small yet beautiful theater holds many fond memories. The singing, plot, and love story were all mesmerizing. I highly recommend the soundtrack!

Once-musical-poster

Sunday was a relaxing day at Nana and Pop’s. Writing my next article for the Manchester Journal and picking blueberries and eating donuts from the local donut cart were involved.

It was a wonderful birthday weekend with limited presents and rather an abundance of family, entertainment and relaxation. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate 19! A big thank you to everyone who made this weekend so special. You know who you are! xo ~ e.

Travel Q & A with Maria Salazar

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

One of my best and first friends (ever), Maria Salazar, recently embarked on a family trip to Mexico. I sat down with her at South St. Cafe in Bennington to hear about her Central American adventure. She graciously offered to share her experience on my blog. After spending nearly an entire year traveling, I love hearing other travel stories and memories. Feel free to share yours with me! xo ~ e.

Who did you travel with?

My dad, Anthony, and my mom, Carol.

What was the reason for your trip?

We hadn’t been on a family vacation in a long time, and we had a friend to visit and stay with. I also wanted to practice my Spanish, because it’s one of my majors (and my mom is fluent)!

Where did you stay?

Our friend, Kate, works for CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center). We stayed in the rooms they had there in Texcoco. We fit comfortably in one bedroom and had a small kitchen and bathroom to share.

IMG_8446

You stayed in Texcoco but spent most of your time in Mexico City. Tell me about Mexico City!

Texcoco is 45 minutes away from Mexico City, so it was easy to get into the city. There are taxis, buses, and subways to get around. When we were there, people were celebrating Pride Day, and it was especially crowded outside the train station. Mexico City reminded me of Nicaragua; I absolutely loved it. The driving though was insane. People drove so close to other cars at high speeds. I was scared of getting hit! I got a big kick out of the hot pink taxis that could be seen from an airplane. They’re not your typical yellow cabs you find in NYC!

Like most cities, it perfumed a classic city smell: a medley of garbage, animals, and sweat. I never got to try corn with chili and mango which I really wanted to, but that’s okay!

IMG_8448

What was the weather like when you were there in mid-June?

It was pretty nice. Temperature ranged from 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and it wasn’t very humid. It was wet season, but we only experienced rain for a couple days.

IMG_8447

IMG_8445

What was some of the best food you ate?

I fell in love with Mexican food. I never consumed anything close to authentic Mexican cuisine in Vermont. One of my favorite desserts was Mamey ice cream. Mamey is a fruit that looks similar to an avocado (grey on outside, pink on inside) and tastes like a papaya. It’s naturally sweet and very refreshing!

FullSizeRender 2

Tlacoyos were another big hit of the trip. It’s a traditional Mexican dish with beans, cheese, cilantro and cactus in a blue corn tortilla pocket. We ate lots of these!

I wouldn’t have done Mexico right without daily smoothies or a piña colada!

IMG_8443

How was the language immersion aspect of the trip? Did you get to practice your Spanish?

I was really nervous about speaking. I could understand mostly what everyone was saying though, which was reassuring. The Mexicans were very patient and forgiving. They seemed appreciative of me trying to learn their language. I first utilized Spanish at the airport in the the taxi, so I was immediately thrown into it! Talking about money was the most difficult for me. Both my parents spoke Spanish (my mom more than my dad), and by the end of the trip, we were all more comfortable speaking it. When we first returned, we struggled with switching back to English!

IMG_8450

Did you do any service at CIMMYT?

Yes! We contributed items to a tag sale and lend a hand at a soup kitchen. There were 15-20 people regulars there, and we gave them each a sandwich, banana, apple, yogurt, coffee, and tea. They were very gracious.

Trip highlights?

The Frida Kahlo Museum was really cool and the pyramids in Teotihuacan were awesome. I got to go dancing which was unlike any dancing experience I had in the U.S. I enjoyed a stroll though a local craft fair (lots of vendors selling trinkets under tents) and admiring a gorgeous basilica too.

IMG_8451

IMG_8444

How much did a meal cost?

I never spent more than $5 on a dish 🙂

Did you have any travel mishaps?

My dad left his bag at the airport (luckily it was retrieved), my mom left a bag of gifts at one of the landmarks we visited, and I left my camera behind accidentally. Other than that, we were golden!

Takeaway from experience

I loved being surrounded by Hispanics and experiencing a different culture. This trip solidified my dream to study abroad for a semester and polish my Spanish! FullSizeRender

IMG_8449

Introducing: Art by Isabel Holden

Monday, June 26, 2017

It’s my absolute pleasure to introduce to you: Art by Isabel Holden! Isabel and I started talking to each other last spring before graduating from high school. I knew her as the ‘cool fashion design major’ in our FFE Program. This year we shared several cappuccini at La Ménagère and climbed the Cinque Terre trails in addition to hearing about the Medici Family in J.Z.’s Writing for College class on Mondays and Wednesdays at 3 PM. She is such a young and talented designer and artist. I’m constantly inspired by her work, and I am really looking forward to rocking her shark print pocket tee this summer!

Upon returning home, Isabel’s posted more on her art Instagram account (@artbyisabelholden), and I thought it was about time she had her own website. After building up my blog and familiarizing myself with WordPress within the past year, I offered to help her create her very own. Isabel and I talked back and forth for several days, exchanged photos, copy and ideas-–not to mention our Google Doc was constantly edited. The site recently went live! I am super proud of her and how the site looks. If you are in need of a similar site or blog, don’t hesitate to reach out! The more practice for me the better 🙂 Please go check it out and help support one of fashion’s biggest up & coming designers. xo ~ e.Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 7.10.12 PM

 

One Month Out

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ciao a tutti! It’s been a while. I apologize for the absence on my blog. I’ll admit that I do miss blogging daily from Florence/Europe. It’s been exactly one month since our jet left the tarmac at Florence Peretola Airport. And now it feels as though my entire freshman year is a distant dream, unattainable to reach again. I’m going to be very honest with you. The first two weeks in the United States was very hard. The immediate symptoms of reverse culture shock hit me like the wind in my face caused by the ATAF bus that blew past me every at 8:42 AM on my way to class. I felt lost and unsure of my place at home, since I had been away for so long. I realized friendships had changed, and old habits felt uncomfortably foreign. But with work and time, I gradually began to feel more at ease and confident with my life back at home. One of the worst feelings of the world is not feeling in control. And for those first two weeks, I felt anything from in control. Now I’m working 40 hours a week and cherishing my weekends. I’m exercising as much as I can and eating as much as I can that doesn’t come out of a packaged, plastic bag. On Father’s Day, I even got back on the racquetball court with my grandpa who revived my competitive spirit.

I also had some friends give me a harsh yet greatly reality check. I was reminded of my privilege for spending nine months abroad– one that many are not presented with during their entire lives. As I complained about little peeves in the United States, Vasudha told me to be grateful I’m not living in a third world country. These messages prompted me to shift my mindset. I forgave myself for having a challenging time adjusting due to missing Florence tremendously, and I started to get really excited for the next adventure to come in Poughkeepsie starting in the fall. The freshmen who were in Florence are now super pumped to start our American college careers on a traditional college campus. There’s so much to look forward to (decorating our rooms fully, joining clubs, playing sports), and the option of another experience abroad is tangible. I thank technology for allowing us to stay in touch. We reminisce about our year through iMessages, phone calls, and letters too. Although we will never relive our freshman year abroad, I truly believe we will carry the lessons, challenges we overcame, and travels with us for the remaining of our college careers and beyond.

My schedule has shifted vastly now that I’m back in the States. I’ve quickly come to terms with the fact that kids & teenagers should be in no rush to be an ‘adult’; forty hour weeks are not the most luxurious privileges of being an adult! I am thoroughly enjoying my internships– learning a lot about the corporate world. This introduction through both internships is really beneficial to my education and career goals. Here’s what my typical day looks like:

6:15 Wake up

6:45 Leave the house

7:20 Arrive in Manchester

8:30 Start work

10:00 Fifteen minute break (walk)

12:00 Thirty minute (unpaid) lunch

15:00 Fifteen minute break (walk)

17:00 Finish work

17:15 Work out in the gym or at the local park

18:15 Leave Manchester

18:45 Leave the grocery store

19:15 Arrive home and cook, eat, shower, and unwind for the day

21:00 In bed! Reading or Netflix

21:30 Lights out

It’s a brutal schedule, but it makes up for my rather leisurely days in beautiful Florence. Several of my friends are visiting my home away from home this summer, and I’ve written up an itinerary for them! Look out for further posts soon. Thanks for stickin’ with me! xo ~ e.

 

Emma: Intern Edition

Thursday, June 8, 2017

As I sit here writing on a Thursday evening waiting for my dinner to be ready (yes, it’s nearly 9 PM), I fondly recall how two months ago I would be reveling in the start to my typical three-day weekends in Florence. But my freshman year abroad days are sadly over, and I have a full eight hour work day tomorrow. The good news is is that tomorrow is my last day of Vermont Country Store intern orientation! The interns and I have had an incredible week learning about the company and meeting many hardworking and friendly professionals. The highlight was seeing my dad up in North Clarendon during our tour. Tomorrow we are visiting both retail locations in Weston and Rockingham; I’ve always loved trying the samples in the stores and grabbing a cone at Mildred’s Dairy Bar.

My first task as an intern was to launch the 2017 summer intern blog. You can stay up to date with our projects here; all interns contribute to daily posts. I kicked it off with The First Day: Summer 2017 Orientation Kick Off. It’s a great group of college students (and a graduate). It will be a very fun summer with them at VCS! I’m a working girl in a working world. xo ~ e.

What’s Next…?

I originally created this blog so my friends and family could stay up to date with my life in Florence. I accomplished my goal to blog every day while I was in Europe, and now I find myself back in the United States with a different lifestyle, one that perhaps is not as exciting or adventurous as my lifestyle in Firenze. With that said, it seems silly to not utilize my blog anymore. I still love sharing my writing with an audience, and I thank each and every reader for following along. Throughout the next several months, you can expect my less frequent blog posts to be about:

  • Travel tips
  • Life as a college intern
  • What to do in southern Vermont and surrounding area this summer
  • Stories about unordinary happenings
  • Recipes for simple and inexpensive dishes
  • Interviews of other people who have recently traveled
  • Healthy daily routines
  • The challenges of ‘adulting’ and being a ‘millennial’ during this day in age
  • ‘A Day in the Life’ posts
  • Opinion pieces on current culture
  • DIY ideas

I will also work on changing up the layout/format of and adding content to my blog. For example, I’ve updated my FAQ page and added a ‘Work with Me’ page. Be sure to give them a glance! I am still fairly new to blogging, and I am trying to find my own unique voice and brand which is challenging due to the thousands of amazing bloggers there currently are. Your support and encouragement is very motivating though. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and tell me what you’d like to see more/less of. I am going to be the most authentic blogger I can be, and I hope you will continue reading! xo ~ e.