Monday, December 2, 2013

I have no idea where this is going....

For some of you, this time of year is a time that you either start reflecting on the past semester and see what you need to do differently for the next, or it is time to freak out over finals coming up soon. I am realizing that for the first time in 5 years I will not be doing this. Instead, I am reflecting on all the changes that have happened over the past year.

Now before you think this is going to be a depressing post, it shouldn't be. If you're a crier, I apologize that it may happen.

This past year has been a year full of changes for me. Most people don't know, but I lost my last two remaining grandparents exactly one week apart from each other last December. My grandma from my moms side passed away first and then my grandpa on my dads side passed away. These were some tough times for me, but I had some of the greatest people by my side through this whole time. Not only did my family life change but my personal life did a complete 180.

I had always known that TBS was a big part of my life after I went active, but my last year in college I fully emerged myself in it. It was a place where I could be myself and know that I was making a difference in someones life, even if I didn't see it happening, I knew one day it would help someone. Anyways, when I thought my life was in shambles and I had no idea what to do with myself, I had some amazing sisters by my side. I had many shoulders to cry on, even when it was at a bus stop coming home from the Military Bowl (when I found out my grandpa passed away). I never thought that I would see my life crumbling in front of me, but it seemed like the whole month of December was the end of it all for me. I always knew one day that I would lose my final two grandparents, but never realized that it would happen so close to each other. On the bus ride home from DC, which is a long drive when you just received bad news on, I was getting text messages from sisters who were on other buses or weren't even on the trip. Just knowing that I had this support system around me helped me out so much. I always thought that I knew what sisterhood was, but when this happened I realized what sisterhood really was.

Even though they weren't with me, I knew they cared. Yes, I know that sisters care about you no matter where they are, but this was something else. It was something that I had never experienced before, and I don't think I would have experienced if it weren't for the sisterhood.

So I had talked about reflecting on the past year, and that was basically just an introduction to the events that basically changed my outlook on TBS. Like I said, I always knew how big of a part TBS had played in my life, but now it was something different. I honestly don't know how to explain the feeling of the change that had taken place, but one did. I never thought that I would be selected to serve as a District Officer for the NCD, but this change that I felt made me take the step. It also helped that I was being urged by some sisters to run for an office. I knew that not only could I make an impact at the chapter level, but seeing the opportunity to make one at the district level was crazy to me. And well, being me, I decided it was worth the risk. (Side-note, I am not a risk taker) Running for District Office introduced me to some great people that I may not have met if it weren't for running. Only after knowing each other for a few months, I was able to call one of them crying for the most random reason. Oh and being the only girl (besides Trudy), makes things interesting. I may seem like someone who will go up to people and just start talking, but I really am not. I am super shy, except over the past year I have realized that you just need to make an attempt and if people look at you like you are crazy, well at least you made an attempt.

With this year being my first year as a teacher, I had for sure used lessons that I learned in TBS to help me to work with others. When I first started TBS, I wasn't sure what I should/shouldn't do. That is what I'm going through this year with my co-teaching classes, I'm realizing that I just have to take a chance and if I do something wrong, I know what not to do the next time, and I am also learning to work with people who have different teaching styles than I do. Another lesson that I have learned, is that no matter how far away you go, you can always go "Home" to your sisters and your chapter. Even though I'm not able to make it up there on Wednesdays, I know that when I go to BG and need a place to stay that sisters are always open to having alumni sleep on their couches and spend time with them.

I've decided that most of this was just me rambling, so I am going to attempt to wrap it up. Basically, TBS has helped me through what I think was the roughest year of my life. From losing my last two grandparents, to my best friend/other half moving to Alaska, my sisters have always been there for me. And I know that all the work that I have put in and will continue to put in will help out others. You never know who you are going to have an impact on, even if you don't think you are doing something major, there may be that one person who notices and you are able to help them through some things.

Sorry for the rambles, its a Monday and I can't sleep.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thoughts from an alum.

So I sit here thinking about what to write and it's hard for me to think of just one thing that is most likely going on in Chapters right now. Being an alumni makes me realize all the things about Chapter that I took for granted and didn't fully respect until now.

Chapter meetings: Yes I said it. I miss Chapter. I know sometimes we just want it to be over or for people to stop bickering but think of it as making time to better your chapter. I know not everyone sits there hoping for it to end, I know I didn't most of the time, but there were times that I wished things would get a move on. And you know how to help those things? Make sure you're following some form of Roberts Rules of Order (RRoO), or what ever helps you get things done. If the same people keep talking or are talking in circles, there's a RRoO for that!

Service Projects: Yep another one! I was asked by a Psi prospective what my favorite one was, and I honestly couldn't pick one. Realizing how much I had done for the bands with my chapter is something that I miss, it seemed like such a small thing at the time, but looking back (yes I realize it's only been a few months) I realize how much I did. When I look at the high school marching bands, I realize how much we were able help the bands out. I see bands that have harnesses that are falling apart and the kids can barely march or play in them, and I though about how we helped out our percussion studio at BG by buying them a new cart, yes I know a cart is different than harnesses, but still, a HUGE cost and expense for schools.

Outreaches: Speaking of high schools, I totally miss outreaches. Getting to see the looks on the high schoolers faces when they see a group of college students who have a passion for helping out the bands was amazing. Sadly while at BG I was only able to attend a couple of them, and someone ended up with a broken nose, that's another story for another day though.

Sisterhood: Yes, as simple as it seems, I miss the atmosphere of being with a group of people that shared a common interest with me, yes I know I am still a part of it, but not being with sisters all the time really stinks. I've lived with sisters for the past 2 basically 3 years of my life, and going from living with and seeing them everyday to never seeing them stinks. Spending time with sisters weekly at meetings, plus having sisterhood dates and going to the student union and seeing half of the chapter was what I looked forward to. I knew that I had (and still have) this wonderful group of people who no matter what mood I was in, would help me out and would point out the positive in things when I would have a hard time finding it.

There are so many other things that I miss dearly but that means I would be writing a novel and not everyone would want to read it. Anyways, the moral of this post it not to take things that happen while you are active for granted. One day you will graduate and realize that TBS held a bigger part of your daily life than you realize. When you are in chapter and that one person is annoying you, just find the humor in it, realize that in a couple of years, or months, you will be sitting around thinking about how much you wish you were there again. As I finish typing this it is on a Wednesday during the time when Alpha Xi has chapter, and every week I think about what would be happening, how much would need to be discussed, and in general just wondering how the chapter is doing.

Before I start crying, I'm ending this thing. Have a great week and please be safe this Halloween and Halloween weekend!!



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hierarchy of Importance

Hello NCD!

Without a whole lot going on in the VPSP world, I thought I'd write my blog post this week in an attempt to gauge how everyone is doing.  This seems to be the time of year when everyone is freaking out about midterms, projects, and essays, not to mention the countless other things we all have going on.  With all that stress and added weight on your shoulders, sometimes you can feel like it's tough to even breathe.  I'm here to tell you today that you NEED to breathe, it's for your own safety!

Think back to the 8 and 5: "cultivation and maintenance of your emotional poise under all conditions".  What I take that to mean is that even under the hardest and busiest times of the year, there has to be a way for you to grind it out and get through it; and you will get through it, I promise!  Don't even give up on yourself, that's the first step to failure.  A very wise correspondent of mine, who also happens to be our District Counselor, has told me many times of the "hierarchy of importance" when it comes to anything in life.  At the moment, it looks as follows:

Your Family
Tau Beta Sigma

You'll notice a few things in this hierarchy.  First of all, you are at the top, as you should be.  This isn't some egotistical ploy and it isn't selfish either, it's the realization that this is your life and you are the only one who can live it; therefore, you have to put yourself first.  If you aren't able to think about yourself and what's best for you in a given scenario, you may find it difficult to give all that you can to those organizations below you on the hierarchy, such as your family, your school, and your sorority.  I've often found that I try and put some of these things before my own well-being, and while the thought and effort is appreciated, what's most important is making sure we are all ok before we expend our services to those deserving of it.

You'll also notice that Tau Beta Sigma is last on this list, and that is on purpose too.  Many of us, even district officers and counselors, will tell you that no matter how involved we are with the sorority, it is still just a small portion of what we have going on each and every day.  This of course doesn't mean that TBS is somehow unimportant or should be left out on the side, it is a reminder that your family, your classwork, and the band you are serving need your attention as well.  We all would much rather have you not fail all of your classes, even if it's because you were doing a service project for the sorority!

Take some time over this difficult stretch in the semester and think about your own personal hierarchy of importance, and see if it matches the one I have.  It certainly doesn't have to, but it is interesting to think about where you're working the hardest and what in your life is important enough to deserve your service.  You are all wonderful people, and frankly I want to see each of us succeed at our best.  In order to do that, make sure you are in your best shape physically, mentally, and emotionally each and every day.  Be a better version of you than you were yesterday!

I wish everyone the BEST of luck with their schoolwork, marching season, and recruitment!



Friday, October 11, 2013


Sisters! It pleases me to inform you that MER was a great success! I want to take this moment to quickly thank all of our presenters and Gamma Rho for being wonderful hosts!

There were 31 Active Members with 5 Chapters represented at Eastern Michigan. This is more than what we have had in the recent past and I am very pleased that we are gaining numbers at District events and all of the participation that took place.

I will be posting the presentations to the website in the next few days, once I collect them all. I hope that you are able to share some of the valuable information with the rest of your chapters and also with Sisters from other chapters.

In closing, you all may be wondering, what does the VPM do now that MEPs have been collected and MER is done. Well, I am going to start on my project for the year to try and assess some of the VPM documents that are being used, which include the MEP rubric and the creation of a recruitment tool.

I am always here for answering questions and I hope that you ask! Remember, no question is a dumb question!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Reflections of a Traveler

This past weekend I did a lot of traveling. My cousin was getting married in Pennsylvania, and my family was kind enough to come retrieve me in Central Illinois before they started the trek. It is about a twelve hour drive from Illinois State to York, PA, so naturally I had a lot of time to reflect and think about life... Of course, I alternated this with watching movies and listening/singing my favorite songs.

One such time of "reflection" came as I was looking at Facebook on my phone. I saw status after status of Sisters talking about their own travels and how they were on their way to celebrate the life of a beloved Brother, Sister, and friend. Many people made the journey to the epicenter of the Sorority and the Fraternity so that they might join together in the bond.

I was overcome with emotion when I read this! It continually amazes me that as Sisters and Brothers we have a system that provides unconditional love, support, and an endless supply of shoulders to lean on. In my three years of being an active Sister (and yes it does seem much longer than that), I have felt numerous times that I was a part of something much bigger than myself, a sensationally strong bond.

I know that in TBS we throw around the word "bond" all the time, but do we truly know what it means? Do we truly understand what the "bond" is?

Well, being an English major, I looked up the definition... I know I'm a nerd. The Oxford English Dictionary defines 'bond' as "a force or feeling that unites people; a common emotion or interest" (

As Sisters we are bonded by our mutual love for bands and our need to continually serve them. "A mutual interest in the Art of Music, in its performance, and in the aesthetic qualities it can project to others." It provides us with that "common tie" that brings us together.

What would we be without our ability to serve the bands? In essence, we would not have a bond. At least it would not be the same. Our Sorority was designed to provide "excellent service to collegiate bands." Therefore, it can be said that our bond is created and honed through our service, our love of service to collegiate bands. Too often are people focused on improving either service or sisterhood, when one stems from the other! Our dutiful service is what inspires the bond within us. It is that "common interest" that brings us together.

I will leave you with this. As Sisters we have an unbelievable system of continual love and support, but it is up to us how much of that we see and understand. Our organization, the Sisterhood, is only as strong as the service we put into it. It is up to us to ignite a passion in others, so that there is continual support for our band programs even after we are gone.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tips for the Beginning of the School Year

Hey, everybody!

For most people classes started a few weeks ago, and we are finally beginning to settle into some sort of a rhythm when it comes to our schedules. What most people forget is that the beginning of the semester sets the tone/rhythm for the rest of the semester, so it is important that we are smart about what choices what we are making. It is very hard to dig yourself out of a hole later in the semester, so adhere to these tips to make sure you are on top of everything!

1) KEEP A SCHEDULE. This could be a planner, the calendar on your phone, or something online, but it is ESSENTIAL to keep a schedule somewhere! True, you may not need to look at it everyday, but it will come in handy when you forget the start time of an important meeting.

2) WRITE DOWN YOUR ASSIGNMENTS. Writing down any assignments you have will not only remind you to complete them, but it will also give you the specifics that are required to receive a good grade. If you trust your memory for every assignment, you will eventually forget something and negatively affect your grade.

3) DO YOUR HOMEWORK... I really don't think I need to talk about this one.

4) GO TO CLASS. For some people this can be very hard... especially when it is a morning class. I understand the feeling you get when your alarm goes off. It is a winged demon from hell that wants nothing more to ruin your day! However, you have to vanquish that demon and get out of bed.

5) HAVE FUN. Part of going to college is socializing with your peers. HOWEVER, this should be done in a safe and responsible manner. Hang out with your friends and come up with some fun activities to do. Everyone needs to unwind from a stressful day. This being said, make sure you have done your homework before you do anything else!

If you follow these five simple steps I can guarantee that you will be starting your semester off right!

Now, I know that there are times during each semester where things get exceedingly difficult or something happens in your life that affects your life at school. As I like to say, "life happens." Realize that you have resources that can help you along your way! For example you have friends, family, sisters, university staff/counseling services... the list is ongoing! There are a great deal of people who care about you and how well you succeed in school. So, when things get hard, don't be afraid to ask for help!

Have a great week everyone :)

SeƱor Anthony

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Well this post is being done a lot later than I had hoped it would, but better late than never. Here's a little update on my hectic life seeing as though I haven't posted in a while. I have officially accepted a part-time teaching position at a high school where I have 3 classes, one of them is just students that I have on my case-load and the other two are classes that I co-teach in the subject area of History. Who knew that in a few short weeks I'd go from working at Walgreen's to finally doing what I've been dreaming of, teaching, and not only teaching Special Education, but I also get to teach History (my favorite subject in school!). I am also going to be substitute teaching when needed so woo extra money.

These past few weeks have been full of change for me and it has made me ponder a few things. Some of the changes I have been thinking of are the changes that I want to make in my own personal life (moving out of my parents house, which seems like it will never happen), what relationships I need to start rethinking and moving on with, and what changes I can bring to the NCD this year.

When some people talk about making changes there can be some hesitation, or some resistance from others. Trust me I know change can be scary, some changes scare me half to death, but then I think that change is something that we all will have to deal with in some point in our lives. When I talk about "changes" to the NCD, I'm not talking about making these drastic changes, I just mean some changes to how we fund-raise and ways to get us closer to being out of the red than we are right now. I have been given some great ideas that we are going to pursue this year, but I know there are a lot more ideas out there that some people have and they may not know how to bring them up or even who to tell. Well if you have any ideas for the District level you can feel free to email me at If you need some help coming up with ideas for your chapter feel free to contact me as well. When I was at BG we did some pretty good fundraisers and they may have been simple, but they helped us out a lot.

So you may have noticed that I have yet to say what these fundraisers are, well here you go:

  1. We will be raffling off a breakfast with the District Officers at District Convention! Haven't you always wondered what the officers are like in a one-on-one setting? Well you can win a breakfast for you and your chapter for the Saturday of District Convention. 
  2. We will be raffling off ONE table for your chapter at Convention as well! This will take place at District Convention only. 
  3. We will do a Penny Wars at all District Events this year and the winner BEFORE District Convention will win enough seats for their ENTIRE chapter. 
  4. Per usual, we will be doing our regular Penny Wars at District Convention and I am going to come up with a surprise prize for the winning chapter. 
  5. Do you remember those old District Tees? Well those are being turned into pillows that you can buy for the low price of $5! Those will be available at MER and all other events until they are sold out! 
  6. We will also still be selling the TBS stickers for your car, or whatever your heart desires to stick them on (of course being appropriate!) 
  7. The final, and biggest one that I will need help from EVERY CHAPTER with is making a District Blanket. This will be raffled off at District Convention. How can you help since I need it? Please bring a T-Shirt from either your chapter, or school to ANY District event and it shall be ready by District Convention! I will be emailing presidents about this within the next few days since MER is a month away! 

If you have any idea's or questions don't hesitate to contact me at the email listed above. I hope everyone is enjoying the start of school!!