Hi there! Here you'll learn about all of my learning experiences at my internship, and my adventures in and around San Diego. Enjoy!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Goodbye Until Tomorrow

This post is a little delayed, considering I am already in L.A. taking a small vacation before I return to the East Coast, but I feel really proud and accomplished of what I was able to do in 8 weeks. I learned the basics of blogging and iMovie, I conducted market research projects, and I created a strong foundation for starting my senior project, which requires a lot more work than I anticipated. However, I had the incredible opportunity to live out here on the Barth Scholarship, so I am feeling a huge sense of Gratitude for all of the people at school, my friends, and my family for making all of this happen.
All of my friends out here have been asking me the next time I'm coming back, and I've been saying "As soon as possible" to everyone because the city has treated me so well! For this, I will write a thank-you letter/poem to San Diego.

Dear San Diego,
Thank you for your beaches, filled with soft and gritty sand.
Your oceans, whose waves push in and pull out as if they were breathing.
Thank you for your streets, lined with sidewalk cafés, restaurants of every kind, and skyscrapers that light up the sky, clearing the marine layer of fog that rests above the skyline.
Your beachtowns and downtown - both of which I was able to experience in a short amount of time.
Thank you for bringing me into a community of people who, at first, speak a different language.
Energy. Yoga. Speaking Your Truth. Embodiment. Manifestation.
I slowly acquired this "language" and made it a part of my everyday vocabulary, and proved to myself that a different way of thinking will permeate different aspects of my life.

This different way of thinking is as follows: Using positive energy in your life and letting people support you will feed into this energy.

The universe is on your side.

As I end my final blog post, I look forward to probably starting another one another point in time, because my experience as a blogger has encouraged me to keep it up and join the ever-expanding blogger community.
Finally...I knew what my last line of my blog would be even before I flew out here, so I will end with this:

In the words of the fine news reporter Ron Burgundy - "Stay classy, San Diego."

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Final Countdown

Yes, it is the final countdown of my days left in San Diego. I have been at my new home in Banker's Hill for about a week and I've had some free time to explore Hillcrest, an adjacent neighborhood. This, along with Solana Beach is a community I could see myself living in some day - which is actually a great feeling, considering I've only been out here for less than 2 months!
Even though my time is dwindling at J4J, my work is not! I have still been busy creating content for the daily feature, which you can read here. Also, I developed a Social Media Operations Manual, which is a brief step-by-step guide on basically how I conducted the blog this summer, along with a longer , more casual essay-style guide where I disclose more or less everything that I learned about using blogs and social media effectively. Right now I am in LA staying with my girlfriend and visiting Alex, and I'll be here to stay after my last week in San Diego, which starts on Monday (eek!). When I finish, I'll be going to Vegas, doing touristy things in LA, and experiencing a small work-free summer, which will be nice - although, living/working in San Diego has basically been a working vacation (in the best way possible).
I've been getting excited for everything coming up this year, which includes singing and performing with the Clark Bars and taking on the responsibilities of Assistant Director, creating, planning, and marketing my senior project (date for now is April 13th 2013...wish me luck!), registering for 5th year courses, taking other courses that are 100% dedicated/focused to my interests/passions (hey, it's senior year) - Studio, Jazz History, either Entrepreneurship or DIY Media -, and finding a job because, of course, I must be able to live!

Friday, July 27, 2012

In the Money

Well...I'm not actually "in the money" as the title suggests, but I have moved from my spot in Solana Beach to this beautiful one-bedroom in Bankers Hill (get it? money...bank...it's a pun) which is a few blocks from Balboa Park, and I really lucked out with the location because it's also about 10 minutes from Little Italy/Downtown San Diego.
Last night, I was a part of a mastermind/focus group of professors, leaders, and activists in the movement of awareness surrounding sexual violence, and we were discussing opportunities to pursue educational curriculum targeted towards men. It was an eye-opening, engaging, and inspiring session filled with dialogue surrounding rape culture (particularly in fraternities), different marketing tactics for this curriculum, and how we might execute facilitating it in universities. I even got the contact information of a professor who teaches a pop culture course at SDSU! I had brought up media as a huge influence in rape culture and talked about how I did a final paper on hegemonic masculinity in my Cultural Discourses of Advertising course last year where I explored these cultural discourses through chronological and cross-cultural lenses.
Today, I wrote up a brief piece elaborating on J4J's model of social change: Awareness - Engagement - Transformation - Leadership - Action, and I'm really starting to feel solidified as a member of this organization and an advocate of the cause, which gives me a great sense of accomplishment.
The school year is nearing (exactly one numerical month) - wow! - and I have really started to get into contacting people and departments for my senior project. I'm grateful because my work and experience at J4J has let me move from a place of Awareness to a place of Engagement (according to their model of social change), which is going to help in the planning and marketing processes for my project.
Tonight, I am attending another Shabbat dinner at Moishe House San Diego, which I recently found out is part of a national organization, so I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Not Another Case of the Mondays

This week, I have decided to try to wake up earlier, for a couple reasons.
1. It is my last week in Solana Beach, so I might as well make best use of the time
2. I haven't really been training at all, so I can use mornings to take a run and make up for lost runs
3. As much as I love sleeping in as late as I can before work (weekends don't count), I have always found an appreciation for getting up early. Here is to hoping that the mornings don't stay as gray!

I decided on that title because I woke up early today to eat breakfast at Cedros Café, a breakfast  place I have been curious about ever since I got here because I pass it every day on my way to work. Since I don't have any breakfast food at my house, it forced me to come here before work. Since the frittata wasn't ready, I settled for a bacon/egg/cheese on a sesame bagel, a traditional "me"sandwich. That is probably the least "socal" or "healthy" meal I've had out here, BUT I got to have fresh-squeezed orange juice, and nobody can deny that is one of the best gifts in the world.

Even though it is my last week in Solana Beach, I still have much to look forward to: My girlfriend is coming out to visit and work at J4J with me for my last week at the office, so I'm excited to show her around San Diego! I guess the "legacy" that I hope to leave at J4J is this strategy guide, and I can only hope that what I did to help re-establish and maintain J4J's online presence will remain in the coming years. But I shouldn't be talking like I'm done - I still have two weeks left!

Starting on Friday, I'll be living in Banker's Hill, a neighborhood that's much more down South. What I've seen from pictures tells me it's a swanky apartment, so I'm pretty stoked to live there for two weeks.
Also, I just realized that I'll be moving back in to Clark in a month...but who's counting?
My summer home

"It's a gray day in the neighborhood..."
But I live on a beach so it's ok.
Beach cliff-art

Friday, July 20, 2012

Raw Revolution

I finally have started learning iMovie, slowly progressing on my senior project, and have started two new projects for the internship. One of these projects is a Health Bar project, with an end-goal of writing sponsorship letters for Justice in Motion Season 4. I was given 10-12 different brands of health/energy bars and made two charts - one with their contact information and one split up into Fat, Sugar, Protein, and Fiber content. After assessing which was the overall healthiest, I listed their "taglines" and at tomorrow's run, I will be distributing them to the runners after the run at our fundraising clinic! After we decide which bars are the best, I will be crafting letters to these brands in hopes of garnering sponsorship support. One entertaining piece of this project has been looking at the brand names of these bars - Rise, Kind, Chi, Pure, Amazing Grass, Raw Revolution, Zing, and Luna.
So California.
My second project has been writing a guide for whoever is taking over the tasks that I've been handling this summer (social media, marketing, development). Other responsibilities include interviewing possible candidates and training, which is completely new for me - I've only been on the trainee side!!
It wasn't a particularly sunny day when I took these pictures,
but I feel like this shot captures the beach in a simple and natural way.

If you take a look at my photography, you'll see that I like "depth" shots...a lot.
Alas, tomorrow is another run and next week is one of my last full weeks at Jeans 4 Justice, so there will be more to tell you all!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Halfway Home

Let me start off by saying, what an amazing summer this has been.
I found out about the Barth Scholarship near the end of April, found housing two weeks before I flew out, and hit the ground running, as I said in my beginning posts.
I have been running and doing yoga, both (at least) once a week, meeting some amazing people, and discovering a new perspective on life: Everything is going to work out. When I was worried about not getting a place for the last 10 days I'm here (my current sublease ends at the end of July), my sister told me that one of her friends was planning on moving with her boyfriend so I am able to inhabit a one-bedroom apartment right near Balboa Park for my remaining days in San Diego.
The main event of this past weekend was the start of Justice in Motion Season 4. I woke up on another Super Early Saturday to get a ride to La Jolla Cove, where we would be running on the coast and the surrounding neighborhood for 40 minutes.
A little bit of context: I don't run. I've never done team sports at a school or collegiate level, so this summer was about leading a more active lifestyle.
The team, pre-Mission Moment.
On Saturday after everyone was registered, we started with a warm-up lap around the small park we were in, and then one of the coaches led us in a session of dynamic stretching, where we did things like high-knees, lunges, and other stretches that athletes do before playing (you can see I'm not up to date on sport terminology). After that, the team gathered in a circle for a Mission Moment, which you can read more about here, where I have been blogging daily for J4J. The first half of the run actually wasn't too bad, considering I had run for almost 30 minutes the weekend before. When we turned around is when I started to really feel it. One of the more experienced runners was generous and stayed with me for the last 5 minute leg. I had felt around two waves of the "runner's high," but at this point my only motivation was seeing the tent back at the park. My sister led the team in a brief post-run yoga, and the event was done. Even thought I was dead tired for the remainder of the day (and most of Sunday), I felt accomplished - only two more to go! In the meantime, my responsibility is to train, train, and...train!
I haven't been to anymore Kirtans or events of that sort, but I believe I'm going to another drum circle (which I loved back at the Eat 4 Justice event) later this week. Also, "The Dark Knight Rises" comes out this Friday so I hope I can get to see it!

Meanwhile, back at Jeans 4 Justice, I am getting much more experienced in the world of Google Docs and general operations work. Bring on the skill-set!
Unfortunately, HootSuite didn't work out in terms of posting the daily blog, but posting the blog manually to Facebook and Twitter helps with structure, which isn't so bad. On Thursday, I will be participating in a focus group. This past Spring, the organization launched a transformational campaign where they posed a challenge to the community to take on one (or more) of these challenges: Yoga, Dance, Spoken Word, Rock Climbing, and Sky-Diving. They called this the LIVE IT Campaign. It was a hugely successful program, having raised several thousands of dollars to support J4J's educational material/curriculum in local high schools and colleges. The aim of this group is to...wait for it...focus on how J4J can bring the Live It Campaign to colleges for students to use as a kind of applied-learning program in tandem with their academic courses, so I'm excited to have a voice in brainstorming ideas for the future of what I call Live It U!

I'll be back later this week with more, and some more pictures of my summer home!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Midsummer Night's Meal

Hi everyone!
I've been super busy developing this new daily blog feature for the J4J website and starting the planning process for my senior project, so I wanted to wait until I would have enough content in a new post!
The Yoga-thlon was a hit! I had a great time. It was the start of several consecutive Saturday mornings which I am calling Super Early Saturdays, considering wake-up time is going to be around 7a.m. until I leave on August 10th, give or take 30 minutes. This past Saturday wasn't quite training, it was more of a kick-off for the fourth season of Justice in Motion. I was there early to set up with other volunteers, and stayed at the booth for the body sculpt. I ended up doing a 5K run and about an hour of yoga back-to-back, attended the info session immediately afterwards, and helped strike the event. I didn't get home until around 2:30 and I was tired but felt really good. If you want to know more about the event, check out this write-up I did on the blog. While you're there, take a look around and you'll be able to read the actual blog feature I've been talking about!
This week, I created a denim market research chart of about 20 designer denim companies, figured out their primary audience, brand message, and charity alignment. This project reminded me of something I would do back at school in one of my Communication & Culture courses!

Now for some food pictures!
Strawberries + Peaches.
What's more American
than that?
Ooey AND Gooey!

Just this minute, I made a dinner of roasted garlic & olive oil cous-cous, sauteed zucchini, and chili-garam masala chicken (experimenting), but for the fourth I made some mac & cheese and some cobbler sans granola!