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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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

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