It Just Needs a Little Love

It Just Needs a Little Love

I have a confession to make.  My inspiration for this blog came from none other than…Strawberry Shortcake.  Embarrassing?  I’d rather refer to it as channeling my inner child, which seems to make itself evident more often than not.  Whoops.  I’m working on my professionalism this year.  Kind of. I never expected to have a “light

I Like to Move it, Move it

This Tribe is never stationary.  We’re always on the move. Part of this restless disease can be attributed to the fact that as a student body, we don’t know how to not be involved.  Going to class and being consumed by books and papers just isn’t enough.  So what else do we do here on

Everyone Smiles in the Same Language

My sincere apologies, dear friends, for being absent for the past … few months.  Yikes.  It’s been longer than I thought since my last post.  I sit here in Barnes & Noble (an excellent study location), and all the sudden, I feel like I’m in Ireland.  Yes, you read correctly – Ireland.  Behind me is a group of about six people playing wind instruments accompanied by a guitar and a…violin?  Sure.  I begin to smile because I can’t help but think about turning around and seeing a congregation of people in kilts and bagpipes.  While I knew that wish wouldn’t come true, I couldn’t help but feel…happy.  This unexpected music led me to reflect on my semester as a whole, a semester of happiness.   

I was
blessed with the opportunity to embark on a service trip over my spring break.
 That Saturday morning, I met with nine others from Catholic Campus
Ministries and 8 hours later, we were appreciating the beautiful scenes of good
‘ol Savannah, GA.  Working with Old Savannah City Mission, we met several
men so devoted to Christ after overcoming many trials and tribulations.
 We met a fantastic young gentleman who committed his days to eradicating
homelessness in the greater Savannah area.  We met a beautiful elderly
couple who hosted a Bible study for our group, complete with the most delicious
homemade southern meal.  Happiness.

is found through a professor whose open-door policy is unfailing.  This
semester hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing in regards to my classes.
 Biology has presented a challenge from day 1.  However, each time I
have sought help from either a TA or from the professor herself, help has been
given on the highest level.  Although I have come to realize that biology
just might not be my cup of tea, I’ve found a new appreciation for the
material, an appreciation spurred by the professor’s dedication and enthusiasm
for teaching.  Happiness.

is found in: a spontaneous 2 hour walk with a new friend – a late night game of
bananagrams – a King & Queen’s Ball on the Sunken Gardens – holding a
turtle that is the size of your palm (found by the Crim Dell) – 31 cent scoop night at Baskin Robbins with the best Orientation Aide ever - attending a
worship service in the Wren chapel on a glorious Sunday evening – an early morning stroll through CW with none other than Mr. Taylor Reveley (beloved president of W&M) during “Love Your Body Week” – hearing the
many beautiful voices of W&M’s a cappella groups on the Wren portico, every
Wednesday at 10 – seeing a giant cotton swab being carried around campus to
advertise for the bone marrow drive – free ice cream during the “last day
of classes” – seeing prospective students take part in a campus tour -
feeling like a gangsta at the K’naan and Wale concert (sponsored by W&M’s
Alma Mater Productions) – new mascots – rejoicing in the accomplishments of others – spontaneous dance parties to Kesha’s newest release – tiedying shirts with your hall – weekend beach trips to Yorktown - discovering new passions.

abounds here at William and Mary.  It’s contagious and it’s found in so
many forms.  So go on, spread your happiness, because “happiness is never decreased by being shared.”



Why Don't We Just Dance?

“Why don’t we just dance?” — country song, Josh Turner
Curious?  This semester, I want to do things a bit differently.  My adjusting phase is complete.  First semester, over, done, check!  In 2010, I don’t want to sweat the small stuff.  I do not want to feel as though my world is ending if things don’t go exactly according to plan.  I want slow down.  Smell the roses.  Appreciate.  AND JUST DANCE.
Obviously, I’m using the whole dancing thing as a metaphor.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do love spontaneous dance parties.  Who doesn’t?!  Yesterday morning during my freshman seminar, I was itching to bust a move right there in the classroom at 8am.  I’ve always wanted to start my day off with Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog.”  Mission accomplished.  My freshman seminar is Music and McCarthyism, analyzing the music during the 1940s and ’50s.  I’m excited to listen to and write about songs for homework!  
Aside from this literal interpretation of the chosen lyrics, I’m using this song as motivation for expression.  This semester, I want to express myself.  Every Two Minutes is really kicking off for new members (I wrote about the organization in detail in a previous post.)  I’m becoming more involved in the Catholic Campus Ministries with the contemporary music group and such.  I’m hoping to plan a 5k in honor of my friend Jordan, who passed away in December.  I ran cross country with Jordan in high school.  He had a great spirit and a beautiful soul that shone even brighter throughout his fight with a very rare form of cancer.  I will never forget his smile and his passion for running.  His father is planning a 5k back home (MD) and I would like to spread the event to Williamsburg.  Jordan loved to run.  He loved music.  He loved to laugh.  Jordan wasn’t afraid to express himself.
This year, I want to learn to play the guitar.  I want my leg to heal, so I can run like there’s no tomorrow. I want to stay in touch with true friends more so than last year.  I want to meet new people.  I want to help those who can’t help themselves.  I want to realize what really matters.  
I want to dance.  
What do you want to do in 2010?  
For Jordan,
Tribe vs. ODU tonight! LET’S GO TRIBE - xo Tribe love

Franky and Shelley and…Squirrels? Oh, Millions of Possibilities

Dashboard Confessional is ringing in my ears and I’m sipping an iced coffee after consuming a lovely dark chocolate bar.  What a dream.
And then I look slightly to my right and see the daunting image of a female strewn across a couch and what looks to be a goblin sitting on top of her…the cover of my Frankenstein book really isn’t all that appealing.
What else should I be doing right now?  Scratch that, what else COULD I be doing right now?… Attending the TRIBE BASKETBALL GAME!  I’m not there.  But my friend is texting me the current score, 29-28 us – at the half.  Yeah, that’s right, get em bball boys!  I could also be packing my ruck sack for the fall FTX coming up tomorrow.  It’s a huge training event for all of the ROTC cadets here and at CNU.  I’m excited.  I love obstacle courses, bring-it-on!  I could also be at the gym.  I could…well, suffice it to say that the possibilities are endless.
I got a call back for the second round of interviews to be a Tribe Guide.  I am really hoping I get a position but if not, there’s always next year.  Don’t give up just because your way didn’t pan out the first time around, be assertive!  I’ll let you know when I find out, for sure :)
On an incredibly happy note, I started attending rehearsals for the Catholic Campus Ministries contemporary music group.  What a wonderful way to blow your stress out.  Music is a gift.  I can’t wait to start singing at the Sunday service.  That’ll happen when I return from Thanksgiving break.  
Oh.  Downer = registration = nightmare = grrrr.  I was told that this is the worst semester of registration, spring of your freshman year…they weren’t lyin’.  Professors haven’t been very receptive either, which is what is frustrating me the most.  I’ve asked for multiple overrides and have yet to receive one :(  BUT….optimism Tarah, goodness.  I’ve been told by several upperclassmen to just attend the class on the first day and speak to the professor in person afterwards.  Oftentimes, they’ll grant the override that way.  Crossing my fingers!  It will turn out just fine.  Also, my computer “Ruby” (she’s red…hehe I love names) died on the day of registration and I had to take her to the IT dept.  It was difficult parting with her.  They took great care of her though.  So, registration was scheduled for the same time as my Bio lab.  I am so so grateful for my amazing lab partner!  She stayed an extra 30 minutes just so I could use her computer.  She is great and I’m sure going to miss working with her next semester.  Actually, the entire section of my lab table is rather entertaining.  We are all so quirky and get along like peas and carrots.  I love it.  Today we did a vigilance lab and went around campus practically stalking people.  We got to be creepers!  It was quite an experience.
I need to get back on track.  Oh boy, Franky here I come.
Until next time,
Tribe love – Tarah :)
PS: It would probably make my college career if our mascot turned out to be the fighting SQUIRRELS!  So appropriate.  I would definitely audition to wear the costume…only if they put little boxing gloves on the hands.  Adorable.

Comforted by the Kindness of Strangers

My first entry as a live blogger!  The previous ones were completed before my blog was live.  Awh, how memorable…
Much to catch up on before I get to the heart of my post today…I am no longer a crew-mate.  :( Sad.  It’s for the best though and it’s actually not due to the “time/stress” issue at all.  I was loving it when my schedule finally worked out!  However, as an avid runner, my shins aren’t at their best.  I’ve already suffered 2 stress fractures and I am currently coping with one in the opposite leg (my left.)  I need to get this all doctored up before I can pursue any strenuous activities.  I have been hitting the pool and what not as a safe alternative to running.  Doctor’s appointment on Friday (aka no classes…ugh I actually hate missing class, you get all paranoid!)  I’ll keep you updated.
I AM however, one of the newest members of Every Two Minutes (E2M.)  How cool is that?! I’m excited to learn more about being an advocate to those who are victims of sexual assault, and I’m even more grateful for the opportunity to interact and educate high school students on the dire issue.
Speaking of being grateful…wow.  It just hit me within the past week and a half or so.  The leaves, the Tribe spirit, the people.  There are two particular trees, one outside of Wawa and another on the corner of Richmond and Northern Boundary, that I wish would remain in their current state forever.  After walking back from a morning coffee run admiring the aforementioned trees, I returned to my lovely dorm and what did I find on the door?  An anonymous post-it bearing the greeting “Have a great day! =) ” … thank you, whoever you are.  That same day, my friend encountered a similar post-it in the bathroom of Swem (the library on campus,) reminding its viewer that “You are beautiful.”  What an amazing soul that would go out of their way to brighten the day of someone they have not even met, and furthermore they did this in a way that would not allow them to see the impact of their kind deed.  Selflessness. 
I must now mention the lovely cafe ladies.  Ms. Barbara (oh yes, I know my omelette lady by name) knows exactly how I like my omelette and always greets me with a lively “Good morning sweetheart!” every time I enter her cooking domain.  The Sadler ladies always ask me what I would like to eat with a “baby girl” tagged on the end and every now and then I’ll get a question about “how my studies are going.”  The other day, after the ROTC cadets bombarded them at 7AM, I made a mistake when asking for eggs and one of the ladies said “Oh that’s okay darling, don’t sweat the small stuff!”  Needless to say, that phrase graced my Facebook status for the next two days.  They really do care, and it’s wonderful.
Will you take the challenge I have set for myself?  Pay it forward.  Perform a random act of kindness, at least one, every day.  Who knows what kind of impact you can have on a stranger’s life.  Maybe they won’t be a stranger anymore if you reach out to them.  Strive to be selfless.
Make a Tribe choice. :) Tarah

04:30 Wake-Up Call = Great Success!

I told you it’d all be okay. 
I’m on the crew team.  I am an
I’m a morning person, but apparently this does not exclude deliriousness. 
Crew a.m. workouts have finally begun.  Setting my alarm for 4:30 is now my routine
for Monday, Thursday, and Friday mornings. 
No big deal.  Gazing up at the
luminous stars and then witnessing the sun rise 20 minutes later is rather
soothing.  This past week/weekend has been
an assiduous one, leading to a less than ideal sleep schedule.  So, this morning I make the trek from Brown
to the SC to meet the crew team.  As I
approach the descent from the sunken gardens to the paved road, something
catches my eye.  I look down and in front
of a grate (those metal things in the ground that serve as drains,) and see the
word “JUMP!” in bright pink sidewalk chalk. 
I was a tad befuddled and stopped in front of the grate and stared at
the word for a second or two.  After
weighing my options, which consisted of walking around the grate or doing as
the word said and jumping over it, I opted for the latter.  And so I jumped.  I mean, that’s what it said to do…right?  Right! 
The grate was definitely broken and somebody was kind enough to let the
entire population of W&M know so that we didn’t have any casualties (a
broken grate can be deadly, you know.)  I
proceed to walk the decline to the road and see more “Jump!” scribbles.  “Hmm,” I thought.  “I know the bricks are perfectly fine, they
don’t look like they are popping out of the ground, so why should I be jumping
over the bricks too?”  Then it hit
me.  A big drawing in multi-colored
sidewalk chalk… “Submit to JUMP!  Prose,
poetry, reviews, essays, visual art.” 
Wow Tarah.  Way to go.  The literary magazine.  I must admit it was very effective advertising
and I commended the artists when I passed them 2 minutes after my awkward
accident.  I was comforted to know that
other organizations wake up at the crack of dawn as well.  Maybe I should submit some photography?  I’ll make it abstract and include some form
of iron, parallel lines…in the form of a grate.
Tomorrow is a new month, happy September 30th!
Most Sincerely,
Tarah the Terrific Tumbler –> (I thought that’d be a nice synonym for “jumper.”  I love alliteration.)
P.S. – get ready for an intense blog on Friday.  What better way to fill a train ride than
blogging about what I’m sure will be an amazing week…feel the suspense?  You better, because I do!

Really? Really.

Rough day.  Exhaustion
has struck.  I need to toughen up.
First morning practice for crew yesterday;  aka wake up super early, spend three hours on
the site, head back for 8am, 9am, 11am, and 1pm classes (Monday is my busiest
day.)  No time to shower until after my
1pm.  No time to eat until 10am.  Study study study after class…all night.  Today (Tuesday,) wake up at 5:30am for
Physical Training for ROTC…could not keep my eyes open in psychology.  Not sure if I can keep up with ROTC and
I’m disappointed, but I’m trying to remain optimistic.  This is my first ordeal thus far.  I know it will be okay in the end, I just
hate waiting until the end for it to be okay, you know? 
I needed to vent.  I
think I’m better now.  Time to get some
shut eye, night land navigation tomorrow! 
Oh my.  I’ll definitely let you
know how that goes, I’m excited but I think I might get laughed at a bit (all
in good fun, of course.)  I’m petrified
of the dark.  That needs to change, too!
Remember, in the words of the Rolling Stones:  You can’t always get what you want, but if
you try sometime you might find you get what you need.  =]
Deep breath.
XO – Tarah

Azimuths, Chiggers, and Dirty Boots

I have the self-diagnosed disease
of being “directionally impaired.” 
That’s not to say I don’t know my left from my right, I’m rather
confident on that front.  But if you
asked me how to get to the nearest Wal-Mart from my house, I’d probably direct
you towards….my mom, because she’s the direction genius of the family.  Being that this condition has haunted me ever
since I started driving (I’ve gotten “lost” on the beltway multiple times,) it
was no shock to me that I was shakin’ in my boots as I made the trek to the
Matoaka Trail Head for the first ROTC Land Navigation Lab of the year. 
At least I made it there without
any difficulty.  It was time for the
brief and on the command of “fall out,” the company gathered in a horseshoe
formation around the leading cadet.  I
felt pretty official as I whipped out my pen and paper and began copying down
every word said by the MS 4′s (senior cadets.) 
I was NOT going to be the cadet that everybody started blowing their
whistles for because I had gotten lost. 
No, no, no.  I braced myself when
I was handed a map, a compass, and a protractor; I began plotting.  And my points were correct!  Granted, I was much more at ease when our MS
4 (the freshman cadets were matched up with a senior) explained the process in
such great detail.  His precision and
knowledge is amazing!  After getting our
pace counts for 100m, we began our journey into the wild abyss before us.  This was shortly after I was the laughing
stock of the evening because I freaked out when a spider scurried across my map
(as I was complaining because my boots were “too clean;” I wanted to dirty them
up.)  Good job, Tarah.  I’m going to be a soldier and I can’t handle
a teeny spider?  Oh boy.  Anyhow, I ended up with several spider webs
to the face and chiggers in my boots (which I am consciously resisting to
scratch as I write.)  BUT…my group and I
found our points and returned to the designated area right on time, and that is
all that matters.  When it comes down to
the wire, which it will someday in my future as a soldier in the United States
Army, and I am racing the enemy to a certain point, I’m not going to have time
to stop and clear the spider webs.
You live and you learn.  Today I learned how to shoot an azimuth, a
concept that was totally beyond me 4 hours ago. 
I learned how to combine the strengths of a team to accomplish the task
faster.  I found somebody to admire as a
mentor and fellow cadet.  I lived through
my first land navigation lab and I loved my first land navigation lab.
Cadet Romano

The Beauty in the…Sweat

“We’re sweating for you.”  The first words I saw as I pulled up to the
brick building I would be calling home for the next year or so of my life…were
quite understated.  Not only did they
sweat for us, they woke up early, greeted the incoming freshmen with smiling
faces, and jumped to my every need as soon as they heard the words “first
floor.”  Shortly after my dad
interrogated the poor Campus Loft guy about how many people have fallen off
(don’t worry, there have been no casualties thus far,) I decided to check out
the neighboring room.  As I introduced
myself, I couldn’t help but admire the bright orange shag rug that graced the
standard carpet.  And then I recognized
the face of the owner, someone I met on Admitted Students Day.  Ani hadn’t even planned on attending William
and Mary back in April when we first met. 
How ironic that she was now my next door neighbor.  Returning to my room, I met my roommate who
quickly set down the two iced teas she bought for us at Aromas, aka the café
that would soon become our favorite place in the CW in just a few days.  I took her welcoming hug as a sign of a great
roommate match (thank you to whoever is responsible for the hefty job!)  After rearranging our room countless times,
the hour was upon us….oh yes, ORIENTATION HAD BEGUN.  I couldn’t have had two better Orientation
Aides and I know for a fact that my entire hall (all 13 of us gals) would agree
with great enthusiasm.  “Whoa,
Tarah.  You only have thirteen girls on
your hall?” you might say to yourself. 
You’re probably thinking, “That is so lame.  I want a huge group so I can meet as many
people as possible.”  Okay.  So I must admit I agreed with you…until after
the first day.  Our “little” orientation
group had a LOT to offer.  Instead of
having to ask every girl “Hey, what’s your name again,” I was able to recite
the names of my hallmates the evening after move-in.  I learned who likes to dance, who can whistle
astonishingly well, (I may add that I am rather jealous of that talent,) and
who has every pattern, color, and style of duct tape imaginable.  In fact, we rescued an abandoned chair our
third night of living together and decided to do a rendition of “pimp my
chair.”  It turned out quite nice.  Good work team!  One of our most proud moments as new
hallmates occurred in front of the entire freshmen class.  Being a part of 2BHOT (our orientation unit,
so to speak,) we had the most amazing cheers to represent our…hotness.  Our cheers halted when Brown First’s (Brown
Hall, first floor,) very own orientation aide graced the audience with his
presence on stage.  As the founder of
‘Tribal Fever,’ Chase made an announcement about the opening football game at
UVA.  The crowd went wild.  My orientation experience began with sweat
(the best kind imaginable of course, out of the kindness of the upperclassmen’s
hearts,) and it ended with sweat; everybody “sweatin’ Brown First” because WE
had the epitome of Tribe Pride as our leader. 
How much better can it get?! 
I’m writing this about a week and
half after the end of orientation and the weather is finally starting to cool
off.  I have a feeling my next blog will
be about something a bit more cool, calm, and collected…like maybe the Baskin
Robbins shop that is right outside my door? 
We shall see!
Until next time,
Tarah Romano