new year new uni

First week of school!!!!! It. Felt. So. Weird. I literally knew no one on campus… I didn’t see a single familiar face the whole day. It was so different from OU where I run into someone before and after nearly every class. Thankfully, I did get to know people in each of my classes and have people to sit and study with. I love the campus! It’s like a jungle, so green and lush with several beautiful ponds.  There are quite a few large lawns where people sprawl out to each lunch or just relax to have class. Every other Wednesday there’s a big market on campus with vendors selling tons of homemade products like soaps, oils, purses, and flower arrangements. There’s also plenty of people selling vintage clothing and food. It’s super fun! In addition, there’s always someone playing live music on the lawn for people to chill and listen to in between class or during lunch. They can grab food with friends and sprawl out on the lawn to listen to the band or enjoy the music while shopping for clothing deals, fancy backpacks, or vibrant artwork.


One thing I am really impressed by is the amount of clubs offered at UOW. They have anything from yoga club to political activist clubs. The options are endless and so creative. I joined the health and wellness club that offers fun free activities throughout the year such as yoga and yogurt on Tuesday mornings, a ceramic class, art, and many healthy eating sessions that show you how to make different healthy recipes and allow you to eat what you make. It sounds really fun and a good way to destress if I am feeling overwhelmed with school. Also, it could be a good way to get to know other UOW students and connect with people outside of class. Depending on how my time goes in the clubs I join, I may think about bringing some of these club ideas back to OU and seeing if I could start something similar.

Also, I love the different free apps UOW offers their students. The Lost on Campus app gives you a layout of the entire campus and allows you to search for buildings, coffee shops, closest bathrooms and water stations, study spots, food, etc. Then, it will tell you how far you are from where you need to go and maps your location to your destination. This was so helpful this week considering I had no idea where my classes were or how to get ti the library and bus stop. They also have a UOW bus app that allows you to see when the next bus is coming and when you will reach your destination depending on which bus you got on. This is so helpful because it makes sure that I’m not having to wait for 10-20 minutes for the bus. Lastly, the MyUOW app is so helpful for new and current students. On it, you can access your UOW email, check grades, exam timetables, and other academic information. In addition, it sends you notifications and updates about events going on at campus and current issues or news they deem relevant and important. One thing I found really fun is that the app always lets you know when a band is playing at the Unibar or if there are cool workshops to attend or free food/discounts on campus. It seems like such a good way to encourage students to be involved at UOW and get to know other peers, save money, and attend fun events.


So far, I am really enjoying my time here and have made several new pals since orientation. My roommates, besides one that doesn’t talk or leave his room, are so cool! Three of them are from Australia, Liam, Cassie and Cameron and one of them is from Canada, Grace. They are so welcoming and are always inviting me to hangout or go do things with them. I have a feeling us four (Cameron doesn’t really say much to us sadly :/) are going to get super close! I know some people who don’t have the most ideal roommate situation so I am super grateful!



HSLC is a large part of why I went to OU and has been the only constant from my high school to college life in terms of familiar things. I was fortunate enough to attend the camp my junior year and serve as a senior ambassador my senior year. Serving on the Executive committee my first year of college transformed my freshman year experience for the better for one simple reason: It made me realize what I had at OU every day that I expected to have only again for one weekend while I helped host this conference. I attended plenty of leadership conferences in high school and met my run of amazing people I wished went home with me every time. The difference is, I was fortunate enough to choose OU and find people that incredible here who surround me every day. I have classes with them, I see them on the south oval, I get to have coffee with them. Many of them are mentors to me. God works in such a seamless way in the background of our complex stories to create a masterpiece that is out life, and he does it often without us noticing. If we bling, we can sometimes miss the work he is putting in overtime in the midst of our won business, and he does so effortlessly. It is so beautiful, so convicting, so intimate that He places such a value on me that he would entrust me with so much. I am so grateful for the constant that has been HSLC and the community I have gained in it.

Why I Went Greek and You Should Too

I was not planning on rushing at OU. Part of me always wanted to go greek, but the girls that went greek from my high school were not girls I typically associated with not wanted to associate with in college. I planned on doing my own path, being independent of greek life that seemed to swallow OU. That was, until my junior year when I actually learned what greek life was about. I was at Sooner Saturday, and a family friend offered to show me her sorority house. I walked in with my Mom to an enormous house just off campus and was immediately enchanted. I was not blown away only by the grandeur of the house, but the life that was inside the walls. It was a strong community of women who spoke to each other by name, cared about each other and did life together.

Going through recruitment was both challenging and very helpful. But what is worth more than anything is gaining relationships with people that are valuable for self worth, job prospects, connections, among other things. My pledge class did not bond overnight. Greek life is in no way perfect. But it is good, and I know any girl in my chapter would go out of their way gladly to help me in any situation, which is so valuable throughout the fundamental years of college that challenge and shape you. Greek life has developed and stretched me as a person in so many ways outside of the shallow stereotypes it receives, and I would recommend the experience of recruitment and being in greek life.

A Pirate’s Life for Me…and You…and the Vast Majority of Media Consumers from 1999 to the Present

What key terms come to mind when you hear the word “piracy”? Johnny Depp’s beloved movie franchise? An MLB team that was one Andrew McCutchen away from deserving relegation to Triple A ball? (He’s gone now, Pittsburgh. Better wait for football season.) Perhaps Somalians? Following the invention of the MP3 and compressed sound encoding, piracy …

“Show Time Spanish” Podcast

Lesson 05 – Show Time Spanish (Telenovela) Recently, at the recommendation of my Spanish professor, I’ve been listening to RadioLingua’s “Show Time Spanish” podcast. The podcast–as the name suggests–is primarily conducted en español; perfect for honing my listening skills as a Spanish minor. I’ve tried many times to find interesting, accessible resources to help practice my Spanish. …

The Iran Nuclear Deal

Hello! It is difficult for me to believe that I’m now in my last semester at OU. As cheesy as it sounds, it really does seem like just yesterday that I was starting up this blog. I’m amazed at how much has happened in under four years – I’ve traveled to eight countries since then, had several awesome internships, developed passions I didn’t know that I had, and come up with a viable plan for my future. None of this means that I know what I’m doing yet, but I’ve had an amazing time finding my way.

Tonight, I had the immense pleasure of going to a talk by Dr. Trita Parsi at the Sam Noble Museum on the Iran nuclear deal. I’ve spoken before about how much I enjoy listening to experts discuss their fields, and tonight was no different. Dr. Parsi was eloquent, engaging, and extremely knowledgable, and I learned a great deal about the intricacies of the U.S.-Iran relationship over the last several decades. Dr. Parsi advised the Obama administration on the Iran nuclear talks and was also in conversations with Iranian officials. If anyone is an expert on this topic, it is this man.

He spoke of the historical roots of the relationship between Iran and the United States, and the complicated role that Israel played in the relationship. It was fascinating to hear about how things have changed over the years: in the 80s, Iran and Israel often worked together against common threats, such as Saddam Hussein and the USSR. However, in the early 90s, the USSR collapsed and the two countries became rivals. Iran refused to recognize Israel and the two countries no longer got along. The U.S. has gained and lost power of influence in the region over the years. As with all international disputes, the situation is complex with no clear solutions.

My two main takeaways from the talk are that effective diplomacy often requires creativity and that this creativity is often impossible without friends. During his time in office, President Obama imposed the harshest sanctions to date on Iran, crippling their economy for several years, in an attempt to get them to stop their nuclear program. These sanctions were only effective because Obama had international clout and got buy-in from many U.S. allies, who stopped buying Iranian oil. When Iran found ways to get around the sanctions, the U.S. then got creative, creating a secret channel to Iran through Oman in order to expedite nuclear talks.

Through this secret channel, American diplomats offered to let Iran keep a certain low number of centrifuges enriching uranium in exchange for their participation in the deal. The U.S. could not write down this offer for fear of upsetting its U.N. allies, who were still participating in the official nuclear talks, and Iran could not take a verbal agreement from the U.S. To get around this, the U.S. got the Sultan of Oman, a close ally to Iranian officials and to us, to personally deliver the offer. The Iranians could not refuse a personal offer from such a close friend lest they appear to be publicly distrusting an ally. Thus, the Iran nuclear deal was born. It would not have been possible without creativity and friends – unilaterally, the U.S. would have gotten nowhere.

In light of this, I am concerned with the U.S. government’s current treatment of diplomacy. An “America first” policy seems to serve only to alienate our closest allies. Additionally, many of our international embassies are currently without ambassadors. We appear to be ignoring attempts at diplomacy in a time when we need them the most; this talk proved that we NEED allies if we have any hope of solving our greatest international problems. During his talk, Dr. Parsi drew alarming parallels between talks with Iran over the last decade and the situation between the U.S. and North Korea now. If we are to look to our past and avoid the same mistakes, the government would do well to keep in mind that creative diplomacy and the curation of strong international friendships will likely be they key to an effective solution.

Bethel Podcast

I love to listen to podcasts every day when I go to the gym. They are always a perfect length and engaging. I listen to a lot of different sermons or spiritual podcasts, but my favorites are from Bethel. Bethel is a church based out of California that has planted several other campuses across the U.S., their newest will be in Austin Texas this year. Bethel’s podcasts are sermons from Sunday morning services they record and put online. They are usually 45 minutes long and a compilation from their numerous pastors. My favorite podcast from them I have listened to recently is called “Grace, Mercy, Righteousness and Justice” and it talked on Genesis and out purpose on this earth. Specifically, how we can be in better touch with Jesus and his grace, mercy, righteousness, and justice. I love the podcasts from Bethel because as sermons, they do a great job of maintaining a scriptural basis while also expanding on what that looks like for us as people of God. I would describe this podcast as deep and penetrating in thought. I like to run while listening to these because running is very repetitious and I am able to focus on what is being said and pray/meditate on it then.

If anyone is looking for a good sermon series podcast, I would definitely recommend Bethel. They are not too long but go deep and go to the core of issues that I think are very relevant to myself and others. The Porch is another spiritual podcast series I would recommend.

ASEAN Night- February 8th, 2018



On February 8th, I attended the ASEAN culture night held in Meacham auditorium. ASEAN is the Association of South East Asian Nations and is an entity created to help bring together students from Southeastern Asian nations such as the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The night consisted of a fashion show of traditional clothing worn in each of the ASEAN countries. Next, traditional dances from each of the nations were performed. My favorite dance was the Filipino dance. In it, two performers held long wooden poles on the ground that they hit on the ground and slid while two other performers hopped back and forth over the poles as they moved. It was mesmerizing to watch and impressive that the dancers did not get hit by the poles. The dance reminded me of jump rope. Another cool dance was the Cambodian dance. In it, the performers held coconut shells and tapped them against other people’s shells while dancing around. I also really liked seeing the special clothing of the fashion show. Some of the clothes had very vibrant colors and complex patterns.

I normally am not as interested by Asian culture as I am by other cultures, so I have not attended many events related to Asian culture here at OU. However, my roommate is from Cambodia and is very involved in ASEAN, so I decided to attend. I am really glad that I did! My roommate had a very big role in the night as one of the MC’s, and it was cool getting to learn more about his culture while supporting him in an activity that was important to him. I realized that even though I have many international friends here at OU, I have not taken much opportunity to talk to my roommate about Cambodia and his experiences. It is something I hope to do before the end of the year.  


My First Published Translations !!!

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It’s crazy how quickly life can change. I know it’s a cliché, but I’m sure every college student in their last semester can agree with me. A year ago, I thought that by now I would be a nursing student with two and a half semesters left until graduation. Here we are, though, only a few weeks away from graduating as a Spanish major and applying to graduate schools and real-life adult jobs. Crazy.

Something I never thought possible was being published as a Spanish translator, but, again, here we are, and I’ve officially had three translations published in two different media outlets just in the past week. The articles have covered some very interesting (read: strange) topics–one of the articles I translated dealt with the mandatory artificial insemination of cows in Cuba. Another recounted a Cuban’s experience with pregnancy and the American healthcare system, and the third was an opinion piece on José Martí, or the Apostle, as he is known by Cubans.

You’ll notice that all of the articles, in one form or the other, deal with Cuba, and that’s because I’ve been translating for an organization called Translating Cuba, which, according to its website, is “a compilation of translations of Cuban bloggers, independent journalists and human rights activists, primarily writing from the island.” There is very limited access to the internet in Cuba, and any internet usage is monitored very closely by authorities who block any content they deem rebellious. Translating Cuba takes news from the island and translates it so that it can be distributed to speakers of other languages; the news comes from a variety of sources, all of which are independent and cover a wide range of topics. It’s volunteer translation-work, and it’s a really unique way to have a tiny impact on the global community.